Pakistan PM's ex-wife Reham Khan wins defamation case against news-channel
Journalist and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's former wife Reham Khan has won a defamation case against a Pakistani news channel in a UK High Court. Ms. Khan received "substantial" damages and a "full and unequivocal" apology from the news channel, Dunya TV, over defamatory allegations made against her by a minister on its show last year. Here are more details.
On June 5, 2018, Dunya TV aired a show 'On the Front with Kamran Shahid' with Sheikh Rasheed, the current Federal Minister of Railways in Pakistan. On the show, Rasheed alleged that Ms. Khan colluded with her ex-husband Imran Khan's political rivals in the Pakistan Muslim League(N), accepting payments from or on behalf of its leader, Shehbaz Sharif, to write her memoir 'Reham Khan'.
Rasheed had also called Ms. Khan a "woman of worse morals than a prostitute" on the show. Incidentally, Khan's controversial memoir had alleged that the Pakistan PM is a womanizer, had drug addictions, was physically abusive, and had a live-in relationship with a married man.
Now, at a hearing in the High Court in London, Dunya TV admitted that the allegations were false, issuing a full and unequivocal apology. "Dunya TV has also given an undertaking not to repeat these false allegations," Ms. Khan's legal counsel, Alex Cochrane (Hamlins LLP), said. Further, the news channel also paid her substantial liable damages and covered all her legal costs.
"I am glad that justice has finally prevailed," Ms. Khan said in a statement. "It took me a long legal battle to prove my innocence and the fact that I was victimized and defamed by Dunya and several other news channels for business and political gains." She added, "I have never received any kind of money from Mr. Shehbaz Sharif for writing my book."
Ms. Khan said the allegations- made by sections of media and politics "linked with Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party"- have put her life at risk and have lifelong repercussions. She added, "I hope that my victory serves as a catalyst for ethical journalism and honest politics in Pakistan. I see this as a win for all women in Pakistan who suffer character assassination."
To note, Reham and Imran Khan were married for 10 months in 2015. Ahead of the Pakistan general elections in 2018, Ms. Khan digitally published a tell-all memoir, which made headlines. In the book, Ms. Khan detailed the Pakistan PM's sexual exploits, including a live-in relationship with a married man, and his alleged confession to having five illegitimate children, some of whom are Indians.