Leander Paes moves court, seeks daughter`s permanent custody from Rhea Pillai

Zee Media Bureau

Mumbai: Indian tennis legend, Leander Paes on Saturday filed a petition at the Bandra family court seeking permanent custody of his eight-year-old daughter. The 40-year-old Olympic medallist alleged his live-in partner Rhea Pillai, that she may cause harm to their eight-year-old daughter and forcibly take her out of the country.

According to reports, Paes has claimed that Rea`s "irresponsible behaviour, lack of personal maternal supervision, self-indulgence, volatile temper, bohemian attitude" are detrimental to their daughter`s "healthy upbringing."

One of the most decorated Indian tennis players, Leander also mentioned that his life "revolves" around their daughter and he would be a better parent as Rhea "leads a lazy, self-indulgent and laidback life...and has never taken the child alone, always has two maids even on holidays abroad."

The duo, though not legally married, had their daughter in 2008 after prolonged courtship, believed to be started in 2003. Rhea, now 48, is known for her association with Art of Living as an instructor. She was previously married to Bollywood actor, Sanjay Dutt.

Last month, Leander was honoured with India`s third highest civilian honour – the Padma Bhushan, by President Pranab Mukherjee for his services to the nation as a tennis player. After the ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in April, the winner of 14 Grand Slam titles tweeted saying he missed their daughter and dedicated the award to her.

With Agency inputs

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