In her first interview after the high-profile split with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Reham Khan has said she was a victim of a witch hunt in Pakistan.
“A conspiracy was hatched against me,” Reham said in an interview with British newspaper Sunday Times.
Dressed in white for the interview in Charlotte Street Hotel in central London, the broadcast journalist described the “painful” and “disturbing experience” following her divorce during which she has been accused of “hitting” him, “poisoning him with rat poison” and being an “MI6 spy”.
Claiming that she has been the victim of a “witch-hunt”, Reham said her marriage to the cricketer-turned-politician has been an example of “here is a woman”, let’s “demonise her”, “vilify her” and “burn her at the stake”.
Going back to how the marriage started, the TV journalist recalled Imran asked her for her parents’ names which she found odd. “May be he wanted to ask his spiritual adviser whether he should marry me or not,” she said.
“The next time I met him, he proposed to me,” she added.
But everything was not as easy. The first trouble came from his family as Imran’s sisters opposed their marriage and thought she “wasn’t good enough” for their brother. Reham also claimed her brother didn’t think Imran was religious enough for her. “Actually my brother didn’t think Imran was religious enough for me. I had to persuade him.”
And as soon as the marriage started it was all downhill as Reham claimed the two turned out to be of completely different personalities. “I tried to talk to him, I’m very talkative and I’m very chatty but, you know, you can’t exactly with Imran Khan. You can’t discuss the colour of the curtains, you can only talk politics. You cannot exactly discuss Bollywood films with him. God knows I tried.”
“He’s not very romantic. He never gave me anything, not even a wedding band” she added.
Recalling Imran was not interested in matters of the house, she said his closet was in “a dreadful condition” and “moth-eaten.”
Further, she added that Imran did not care how he looked when he stepped out of the house. “I’m the sort of person who panics if my family is not looking right.”
Reham said she bought Imran a new wardrobe which he was “quite happy with” and she also introduced things like “deodorants, creams and shampoos.”
“It was a bachelor fridge, it was a bachelor pad and there was no food.”
The broadcast journalist also said there was no housekeeper, just a kitchen boy and a caretaker “who really wanted to be on TV” so guests were never fed and the PTI chief survived on “one chapati a day.”
In another startling revelation, the broadcast journalist said Imran was not fond of having children around him, forcing her to confine her three children with her first husband to a room. “They would never come out… would never go to the kitchen,” she said.
Speaking about Imran’s infamous dogs whom she has been accused of mistreating, Reham said, “My whole day revolved around his dogs. His dog was in love with me.”
Moving on to Imran’s party members, Reham said they made it clear they had “issues with me working.”
“I was specifically told by a senior party adviser they basically wanted me to be in the kitchen, to be cooking chapatis and not to be ever seen again” she alleged.
Further, Reham claimed when she was made the official ambassador for street children in Peshawar, party members thought she was trying to “ride his coat-tails.”
‘There wasn’t any involvement, I never attended meetings or anything of the sort, but obviously there was insecurity,” she added.
The broadcast journalist also claimed Imran is living a lonely life and “has no friends.” “For someone who has been on their own for 54 years, a man who’s been a bachelor all his life, whose first marriage [to Jemima Goldsmith] was after he turned 40, it’s very hard to change. It’s very hard to settle in domestic life,” she lamented.
The TV journalist said she has “no rights” as her marriage was never registered in Pakistan or UK. “After a 10-month marriage, you’re not entitled to anything,” she said.
Clarifying reports that Imran divorced her over text message, Reham said they decided to part ways last month before she left Pakistan. She said she has been devastated by the way it has been “played out” since.
Firmly believing she was a victim of a plot, Reham recalled how news of their divorce first broke in September when they were on a holiday. “I asked where are they getting this from?” she said, adding Imran told her to relax and it used to happen with him and Jemima as well.
“But it seems to me now that everybody was expecting it and everybody knew.”
In the weeks before their divorce, Reham claims she found “things emerging in the house.”
She said she doesn’t know what those “small things” were but the servants said she shouldn’t be touching them. Reham earlier hinted at “black magic” being the cause of their split and this is what she is said to referred to.
Since announcing their split on October 30, Imran and Reham have been forced to make several clarifications as many reports regarding their divorce have circulated in the media.
Everything from poisoning attempts to domestic violence (Imran being the alleged victim), family feuds, and even the unfair treatment of Imran’s dogs (yes, dogs), have been reported so far.
Since the start of their marriage, Reham made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Soon after the couple married, Reham’s ex-husband, NHS psychiatrist Dr Ijaz Rehman strongly denied allegations he had mistreated her during their marriage. Further, Dr Rehman claimed she used him “like toilet paper to clean up her image” after she found herself harshly criticised by traditionalists in Pakistan who saw Imran’s bride as far too Westernised.
Correction: An earlier version of the article erroneously stated PTI members did not want to work with Reham instead of her statement that they had issues with her working. The error is regretted. EDITOR.
This article originally appeared on Sunday Times.