Genelia was raised as a Roman Catholic in the Bandra suburb of Mumbai. Her mother tongue is Konkani. Her mother Jeanette D'Souza was formerly a managing director of the Pharma Multinational Corporation (MNC), who left her job in 2004 to help Genelia with her career. Her father Neil D'Souza, is a senior official with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). She also has a younger brother, Nigel D'Souzawho works with the Bombay Stock Exchange. Tabloids repeatedly linked D'Souza romantically with Ritesh Deshmukh, ever since they starred together in their debut film Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003. They were reportedly ready to get engaged, and the couple eventually got married on 3 February 2012, according to Marathi marriage traditions in a Hindu wedding ceremony. The couple's first child, a son named Riaan, was born on 25 November 2014.
Genelia did her first modeling assignment at the age of 15, the result of being spotted as the bridesmaid at a wedding. She completed her degree while shooting for her first film, Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003 and initially thought that an MNC job would suit her. She was a state level athlete, sprinter, and a national level football player. She was selected for the Parker Pen commercial with Amitabh Bachchan. Tamil director, S. Shankar, was impressed with her performance in the Parker Pen commercial and decided to cast her in a leading role in his 2003 Tamil film Boys. In 2004, Genelia appeared in her second Bollywood movie, Masti, was box office success. The same year, she appeared in two Telugu movies Samba, and Sye, both succeeding at the box-office. After appearing in her first Telugu movie in 2005, Naa Alludu, she starred in the Tamil romantic entertainer Sachein, and then she later appeared in the Telugu patriotic movie Subhash Chandra Bose.
She completed two Telugu movies in early 2006, one was the romantic comedy Happy, and the other was Raam. Telugu romantic film Bommarillu, a blockbuster movie at the box-office had been grossed 250 million in India. In June 2008, following a nearly five-year hiatus in Bollywood, she appeared in Mere Baap Pehle Aap, which failed to make profit at the box-office. Her breakthrough performance in 2008 was through the portrayal of the role of Aditi Mahant in the blockbuster Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, was an economic success across India and grossing over 564 million (US$8.4 million). In 2009, Genelia was cast in the Hindi film Life Partner. She had a major role in 2011, starring as the Muslim warrior princess Arackal Ayesha; in her debut Malayalam film Urumi. She played the role of a journalist alongside leading actor Vijay in Velayudham, which was also commercially successful. Her upcoming movie is Jaane Kya Tune Kahi.
She also holds a Limca world record of delivering four different super hit films in four different languages, Ready (Telugu), Satya in Love (Kannada), Santosh Subramaniam (Tamil) and Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (Hindi) in a span of one calendar year. On the occasion of Children's Day (14 November), D'Souza auctioned a few items from the apartment. All proceeds received from the auction were given to Aseema, a Non-governmental organization (NGO), which aims to provide education to underprivileged children. In June 2010, D'Souza was crowned as the "Brand Ambassador of the Year" at the CNBC Awaaz consumer awards, for endorsing nine brands. She is now the brand ambassador of the soft drink Fanta, the chocolate Perk, Virgin Mobile India, Fastrack watches and accessories, LG mobiles, Garnier Light fairness cream, Dabur Vatika hair oil, Margo soap and Spinz deodorant.
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