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Imran to take custody of 'love child'

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 16, 2004 16:56 IST
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Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan will take custody of his 12-year-old 'love child' following the sudden death of her mother in the United States on Thursday.

Imran flew to Los Angeles on Saturday night to bring home Tyrian after her multimillionaire mother Sita White collapsed, having apparently suffered a heart attack near her home in Beverly Hills, a report said in London on Sunday.

Quoting her friends, The Mail on Sunday said the 43-year-old Sita, a fitness fanatic, had taken steroids, which exacerbated an existing heart condition.

For years, the 51-year-old cricketing legend refused to acknowledge Tyrian, born in 1992, as his child until Sita won a paternity suit in 1997. He finally met his child the following year.

Imran and his wife Jemima are understood to have discussed bringing the 12-year-old to live with them and their sons Sulaiman, 7, and Qasim, 4, in Britain.

Sita's will stipulated that Imran got "full and complete parental rights over Tyrian if anything happened", her friend was quoted as saying.

"Tyrian and Imran now have a strong bond despite his reluctance to acknowledge her during her early years," the friend said.

Imran also had the support of Jemima in bringing Tyrian to live with them, The Mail said.

Jemima, according to the tabloid, told a friend: "We are committed to doing whatever is best for Tyrian and we are both very happy for her to move to the UK and live with us if that's what she wants."

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

Jemima met Tyrian for the first time three years ago. The child spent six weeks in the summer of 2001 with the Khans. She has returned to the UK and stayed with the Khans every summer since then.

The eldest daughter of billionaire businessman Lord 'Gordy' White, Sita was born into a world of privilege at the family's London home in Eaton Square. But she died alone on the floor of a one-storey yellow concrete yoga studio in Santa Monica.

She had been working as a yoga instructor for five years.

Friends say she spent the last months of her life obsessed by a desperate desire to maintain her muscular six-foot frame. It was a desperation that, one source said, may have driven her to drugs.

Sita was married twice -- to Italian photographer Francesco Venturi and to Marlboro model Alan Marshall. She met Imran in 1985 and ended their affair a year before Tyrian's conception in 1991.

According to the report, Sita always maintained that it was the result of one final night of love with Imran in Los Angeles.

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