17 MAY 2004

Click here to send this news item to a friend

Sita White, former girlfriend of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, has died suddenly, leaving the Pakistan sporting legend to care for their daughter, Tyrian.

Forty-three-year-old Sita, who had a six-year relationship with Imran in the 1980s, is believed to have had a heart attack at a Beverly Hills yoga centre near her home last week. The daughter of billionaire industrialist Lord 'Gordy' White, Sita had been granted 1.7 million from her father's estate just a few weeks ago, after a lengthy legal battle.

"It is just devastating," said her stepmother Victoria White, who was with her when she collapsed. "She was in a happy mood, she was in great shape."

It is said that the millionairess' will stipulates that her former partner would get full parental rights of Tyrian in the case of her death.

According to reports, Imran flew to Los Angeles on Saturday to see about the future care of 12-year-old Tyrian, who was proven to be his child in a 1997 paternity test. The former athlete had denied he had fathered the little girl until the legal suit proved otherwise, and he did not meet Tyrian until she was six years old.

Since then, Tyrian and her father have developed a close relationship, with the pre-teen spending a good part of the summer in the last few years with Imran and his 30-year-old wife Jemima Khan, daughter of the late tycoon Sir James Goldsmith. The couple have two young sons of their own.

"What Imran and Jemima care most about is the fact that a 12-year-old girl has tragically lost her mother," said a family friend. "Although Jemima never met Sita, they were in regular contact about Tyrian. They had a very good relationship."

Millionairess Sita White, whose daughter Tyrian was proven to be Imran Khan's child in 1997, died suddenly last week of a suspected heart attack
Photo: Alphapress.com
Click on photos to enlarge

Imran, seen with wife Jemima, has reportedly flown out to Los Angeles to see about the care of the 12-year-old girl
Photo: Alphapress.com