The Goldsmith heiress and the former Pakistani cricket captain on their wedding day in 1995. Jemima moved to Lahore to be with her husband, who founded a political party there, but returned to Britain with their two young sons last year, ostensibly to pursue her studies
Photo: AFP
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22 JUNE 2004

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British socialite Jemima Khan has split up from her husband, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, nine years after their 1995 wedding.

A spokesperson for the political party which Imran founded in Pakistan said, "Imran and Jemima have ended their marriage." The comment came just two months after Imran quashed rumours that the marriage was in trouble and insisted Jemima was simply studying in Britain but would be returning to Pakistan after completing her degree.

Jemima's move back to London from Lahore last year with the couple's two young boys, Sulaiman and Qassim, had caused speculation about state of their marriage.

Once back in the UK, she was able to take up her studies again and to renew the kind of social life which she had always enjoyed as the daughter of the late billionaire tycoon James Goldsmith.

While Imran pursued his political ambitions, he was frequently absent from family life and it was noted that he did not appear for Jemima's 30th birthday earlier this year.

Last month, Imran's former girlfriend Sita White died in Los Angeles at the age of 43, leaving their 12-year-old daughter Tyrian apparently to his care. But it has since emerged that she made a change to her will shortly before her untimely death, specifying that Tyrian should be left in Jemima's custody, not Imran's.

Tyrian had spent her summer holidays with Jemima and the boys in London after the two women struck up an e-mail friendship three years ago. It appears that Sita preferred her daughter not to be brought up in Pakistan.