Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan fights to save career after ‘failing to reveal lovechild’
Former cricketing legend Imran Khan is fighting to save his political career in Pakistan after being accused of failing to reveal he had a lovechild with a British heiress.
The former prime minister of Pakistan has been summoned by the country’s High Court for not declaring that he secretly fathered a daughter called Tyrian Jade with a socialite named Sita White, the daughter of a British tycoon and peer.
Under Pakistan’s election laws, a candidate has to declare the names of his wife and dependent children in his nomination papers to the Election Commission.
But in the 2018 national election which swept Mr Khan, 70, to power, he disclosed he had two sons with his ex-wife, socialite Jemima Khan.
But he did not mention Tyrian White, 27, was his daughter with Ms White.
If found guilty, Mr Khan can be disqualified from standing in an election for the next five years, which means he may not be able to contest this year’s national election in March
If found guilty, Mr Khan can be disqualified from standing in an election for the next five years, which means he may not be able to contest this year’s national election in March.
The former sporting legend was ousted as prime minister last year after losing a vote of no confidence in parliament, but remains very popular, and could win this year’s election.
Mr Khan’s supporters have dismissed the case as politically motivated, accusing the government parties of using it to disqualify him, and smearing his reputation in a conservative Muslim society, where children out of wedlock are frowned upon.
Tyrian, now 27, was born three years before Mr Khan married then 21-year-old Jemima Goldsmith, the daughter of billionaire James Goldsmith, in 1995.
Mr Khan met her mother, Sita White, at the Tramp nightclub in London in the late 1980s, when he was at the height of his fame as a cricketer and international playboy.
Ms White was the daughter of Gordon White, a British industrialist and peer who ran a conglomerate called Hanson Plc.
Ms White moved to the US in the early 1990s, shortly before giving birth to Tyrian in Los Angeles in 1992.
The cricketer, now an ambitious politician in his country, denied being Tyrian’s father in the first few years.
The former prime minister of Pakistan has been summoned by the country’s High Court for not declaring that he secretly fathered a daughter called Tyrian Jade with a socialite named Sita White, the daughter of a British tycoon and peer (pictured)
But Ms White took him to an LA court, which ruled in 1997 that Mr Khan was the father after he refused to take a DNA test.
Ms White – who married three times since she split with her cricketer lover – suddenly died of an embolism in the lungs in Los Angeles at the age of 43, when her daughter was only 12.
Mr Khan then took Tyrian under his care, and raised her in London with Jemima Khan, whom he had divorced months earlier, but with whom he maintained a friendly relation.
Friends of Ms Khan have said she raised Tyrian like her own daughter.
She has since posted photos of herself with Tyrian on her Instagram account, alongside pictures of her stepdaughter with her two sons by Mr Khan, Suleiman Isa, 26, and Kasim, 23.
In one Instagram pic of Ms Khan together with Tyrian, she wrote: ‘Happy Birthday to this brilliant person, I’m lucky enough to call my stepdaughter.’
Tyrian divides her time between New York and London, and is believed to stay with Ms Khan when she is in the UK.
The Islamabad High Court petition filed against Mr Khan states: ‘The respondent has deliberately and wilfully failed to declare his daughter Tyrian White in the nomination papers…hence he is not sagacious, righteous, honest and a man of good character.’
Tyrian divides her time between New York and London, and is believed to stay with Ms Khan when she is in the UK (Pictured – Jemima Khan and Tyrian White)
Osama Malik, a British-trained lawyer in Islamabad, said: ‘The Tyrian case is already known about, and so I don’t think it will damage his support base. At the moment, Imran has the biggest support as a national politician.’
Last night, Ms Khan declined to comment on the Tyrian case.
She is likely to visit Pakistan soon to promote her new film, What’s Love Got To Do With It?, a comedy about arranged marriage, which is partly set in Lahore.
She said her ex-husband has not seen the film, but did read an early script.
She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘He did read an early version of the script and was like weirdly zealous about it…and kept saying you have to get this made.
‘He couldn’t believe it would take that long. I mean, it did take me 10 years to get to this point.’