Cricket legend Imran Khan’s new British-Pakistani wife has spoken out for the first time about the domestic violence that led to the breakdown of her first marriage.
Former BBC weather presenter Reham Khan, 41, told a Pakistani TV channel she had been reluctant to accept Imran’s proposal of marriage because of the domestic violence she had suffered during her marriage to Dr Ijaz Rehman, 54, an NHS psychiatrist.
Reham told the interviewer: “Thanks to Allah, I am not scarred by my experience. Domestic violence is a big issue and no attention is paid to it in Pakistan. [It] happens in many shapes and forms.”
“I have never spoken about my personal experience of domestic violence because I was in [the] media and I felt it would be unfair to expose the other party”, she added.
Reham married cricketer-turned-politician Imran – who divorced British heiress Jemima Goldsmith in 2004 – in a private ceremony at his home near Islamabad last week.
She said that she had been apprehensive about marriage having been through a “horrendous” experience first time round.
“When I talked to my family about it, we all had the same reservations, especially because when you have been through such a horrendous experience. When I talked to my brother about it, he had this only reservation — that the domestic violence] wouldn’t be repeated”, she said.
Her first husband however, has angrily denied the allegations.
Dr Rehman told Mail Online: “I reject these allegations strongly. I have never lifted hands on anyone. I have never been involved in any kind of domestic violence in any shape or form.”
He said he was “surprised” by the allegations and insisted that he had looked his wife and children.
“I work in a very senior position in the NHS and if I was convicted or charged or found involved in domestic violence, in any sense, I wouldn’t have been able to practise”, he added.