MUMBAI: Pakistani model-turned-actor Humaima Malik, who was seen in Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol, is not amused by being constantly linked with cricketer Wasim Akram. “Wasim has children, I have a family. We’re both answerable to people in our lives. It becomes very embarrassing for me to be known as Wasim Akram’s girlfriend. I hate to be known by that identity. I’m a celebrity in my own right,” said Malik in an irritated manner. “Just because I’m a girl, do I need to be identified by the presence of a man in my life?” During the Indian Premier League matches earlier this year, Malik says that she had to cancel her trip to India to support Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkta Knight Riders (KKR) team because of the loud whispers regarding her and Akram. “I was going to support KKR, not because Wasim was the team’s coach. Unfortunately, the Indian press went to town linking my visit to Wasim and I had to cancel my trip,” she said. “In India being linked with a cricketer is seen as a big deal. Every journalist asks me about Wasim. As if that’s all there is to me,” said Malik. She adds that even the Pakistani media is equally inquisitive about her private life. “Even if we go out for just a cup of coffee, there are loud whispers,” she said. She is not flattered by the link ups as “I was a super-model and the Pakistani brand ambassador for Sunsilk, an international brand of shampoo, before being selected by Shoaib Mansoor for my first film Bol, for which I had to go completely against my image. It was tough on me, but the results have been so rewarding. It’s been a truly life-changing experience,” she said. Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2011.