Former model Rhea Pillai has submitted before the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate’s court that she had not procured a copy of the document issued by a pandit after her marriage with tennis player Leander Paes in a temple in 2005, as she thought she had “sufficient evidence” of it.
“Respondent 1 (Paes) added my name as a spouse on his passport. I was also made an honorary lifetime member of the CCI club as Rhea Pillai Paes, and my name appears on [our daughter’s] school records as Mr and Mrs Paes,” she said in her cross-examination before the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate on Tuesday in the domestic violence case against Paes.
Pillai was responding to defence advocate Abad Ponda’s question as to why she had not tried to procure a copy of the document issued by the pandit as proof of their Gandharva-style marriage in 2005.
Ponda asked why Pillai’s domestic violence application and her reply to Paes’ maintainability application state that she was in a live-in relationship with Paes. Pillai responded that she was under legal advice to say so. “My lawyer explained that marriage can be spoken about only with a legal document, which I’m short of,” said Pillai.
Pillai had earlier told the court that she had married Paes in 2005 and they had renewed their vows in 2008.
On Tuesday, Pillai further stated that a friend had come to pick them up outside the temple after their wedding and had seen them with garlands around their necks, but was not present when the couple revisited their vows in 2008.
When asked if she had proof of the wedding in the form of correspondence (text message or email) with a friend or as shared on a social media platform, Pillai said she considered the marriage a personal event and had spoken about it with friends on the phone, but had not texted or posted about it on social media.