Who IS Jemima Khan, Anyway?

Guy Ritchie hasn’t been divorced from Madonna for a month, yet he seems to have found someone new. Ritchie attended a London dinner party with Jemima Khan earlier this month, according to People.com. Unless you follow the U.K. tabloids, you probably don’t know much about this millionaire heiress.CREW: Khan is the daughter of Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart and financier Sir James Goldsmith. Her parents started a polyamorous relationship in 1964 while they were married to other people. She was born in 1974 and four years later, her parents married in order to legitimize her and two younger brothers. She has three maternal and five paternal half-siblings. All of her late father’s children inherited his wealth. She was also a great friend of Princess Diana before her death. However, author Tina Brown claims in her book The Diana Chronicles that Princess Diana and Khan may have been half-sisters. According to Brown, who can’t substantiate this story, the princess’ mother Frances Shand Kydd had a long-running affair with Khan’s father during her marriage to Earl Spencer. So, as Brown suggests, Princess Diana may have been Sir Goldsmith’s lovechild.

Jemima is also friendly with U.K. residents like Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, Gwyneth Paltrow (Madonna’s bestie!), and Stella McCartney.

LOVES: In 1995, a 21-year-old Khan married 42-year-old Imran Khan, who was a well-known Pakistani cricket player. A few months before her wedding, Jemima converted to Islam. The couple later moved to Lahore, Pakistan, and Jemima began a personal reinvention. She learned to speak Urdu, wore traditional Pakistani clothing, lived in a traditional extended-family household, involved herself in all aspects of Pakistani life and “extolled the virtues (ad nauseam) of a new and radically different culture,” she wrote in The Sunday Times. She also said she over-conformed. Her divorce from Imran was announced in 2004 after she decided she couldn’t settle in Pakistan permanently. She goes by Jemima Khan because she wants to have the same last name as her sons, Sulaiman Isa and Kasim.

In 2004, Khan gained a new level of fame when she started dating actor Hugh Grant. Grant supposedly proposed to Khan in 2005, but she refused because she wasn’t over her nine-year marriage. According to a friend of his, Grant was very wary of gold diggers, but since Khan was much wealthier than him, she could be wife material. She hated Grant’s ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley so much that she refused to go to Hurley’s 2007 wedding and held him back also. The couple announced their amicable split in February, 2007.

CAREER: In 1998, Khan launched a fashion label that employed poor Pakistani women, who embroidered western clothes with delicate eastern handiwork. Profits were donated to a Pakistani cancer hospital, but the company was closed in 2001. Khan has been a fundraiser for several charities, and in 2001 she became the U.K. Ambassador for UNICEF, traveling to Kenya, Romania, Bangladesh and Pakistan. That same year she set up the Jemima Khan Afghan Refugee Appeal to provide tents, clothing, food and healthcare for Afghan refugees in a camp. In 2008, Khan helped re-launch Azzaro Couture fragrance and was a guest co-designer for Azzaro’s Spring 2009 accessories collection. Her fee was reportedly donated to UNICEF. She has been a contributing editor for British Vogue and a columnist for The Sunday Telegraph.

RANDOM FACTS:

  • Khan was charged in Pakistan with the non-bailable crime of illegally exporting tiles claimed to be centuries-old antiques of the Islamic era.
  • Like another heiress we know, Khan has had her share of NSFW flashing incidents.

    [Wikipedia]
    [Monsters & Critics]
    [Softpedia]
    [Times Online]

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