Ex-wife of Imran Khan has won a libel case launched after a government minister claimed live on air that her husband’s rivals paid her to write a revealing memoir on the PM’s alleged gay tendencies and drug addiction.
A Pakistani channel Dunya TV offered an apology and paid off “substantial damages” to Reham Khan, former spouse of the sitting Prime Minister Imran Khan. The woman, a British-Pakistani citizen, took the matter to UK High Court after Sheikh Rasheed, currently Pakistan’s railways minister, attacked her during a 2018 talk show broadcast by Dunya.
Rasheed, whose career is full of controversies, alleged that Khan took money from the Prime Minister’s political opponents, the Pakistan Muslim League. In return, he said on the record, the group wanted her to write an autobiography tarnishing the Prime Minister’s private life.
He also likened Reham, currently a journalist and broadcaster, to a well-known Pakistani courtesan – a slur which she said amounted to calling her a prostitute.
Published back in 2018, the book made headlines in Pakistan and abroad. It alleges that the former cricketer-turned-premier consumed light drugs and had gay inclinations engaging in relationships with known transgender people. The scandalous memoir also portrays him as practicing believer of black magic, along with other sins, like corruption and nepotism.
Critics said that the publication was full of bias and rumors, a claim she vehemently denied. But the pair’s marriage lasted only ten months, with Khan himself admitting that marrying Reham was “a mistake” of his life.
Now, Reham seems to fight back as Dunya TV conceded to make “a full and unequivocal public apology to our client and it has accepted that she never received any payments from … anyone in the Pakistan Muslim League for her book,” her lawyer Alex Cochrane said in a statement.
The channel, which has a license to broadcast in the UK, accepted that the allegations made by Rasheed were “wholly untrue.”
No stranger to controversy herself, Reham continued to rant about her former husband in local media. Previously, she alleged that Khan used derogatory terms for Christians and Hindus in private talks, liked “racist jokes and clichés” and went as far as to call him a “closet bigot.”
She also touched upon geopolitics, suggesting that Kashmir “has been sold off”, as the “weak” Prime Minister did nothing about India revoking the decades-old autonomy status of the Jammu and Kashmir state.