On Saturday evening, Rhea Pillai recorded her statement before the Bandra Magistrate Court in a domestic violence (DV) petition filed against her estranged partner, tennis player Leander Paes. This follows last week’s statement by Pillai, a former model, when she told the court that she had married Paes not once, but twice, in 2005 and then again in 2008. In a cross examination by Paes’ la-wyer Aabad Ponda, Pillai said that she is married to Paes, and that it is mentioned in the DV petition. She told court that she married Paes the second time in 2008 because her divorce decree got through and they decided to revisit their vows.
Ponda asked Pillai, "The fact that you were married to Paes twice does not find place in your DV petition filed in 2014." Pillai said, "I know it’s there." When mid-day spoke with one of Paes’ lawyers, he said that the DV petition does not mention that she married Paes legally or by Gandharva rituals.
Ponda further asked her why there were no photographs from either of the two marriages. Pillai replied, "My focus was on the essence of why we were getting married. In 2008, my divorce with Sanjay Dutt came through. So, it was just a mere formality."
Pillai had filed the DV petition against Paes and his father in 2014, a year after Paes approached the family court of custody of their daughter. Paes had contended that his relationship with Pillai was not akin to marriage.
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