Leander Paes is an Olympic Bronze medallist © Getty Images
Leander Paes is an Olympic Bronze medallist © Getty Images

Oct 17, 2014

The ongoing legal dispute between tennis ace Leander Paes and his estranged live-in partner Rhea Pillai has taken a nasty turn with the sportsman alleging her cricketer-friend issued death threats to him and his minor daughter.

An FIR was registered yesterday against cricketer Atul Sharma (40) on a complaint by Paes. The tennis star has accused Sharma of issuing death threats to him and his daughter in a family court in suburban Bandra on Tuesday, said Kundlik Nigade, Senior Inspector, Bandra Kurla Complex Police Station.

Sharma, who allegedly threatened to kill Paes and his eight-year-old daughter Aiyana, has been booked under IPC Sections 506(2) (criminal intimidation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), he added.

In his complaint, the 41-year-old 1996 Olympian bronze medallist claimed the alleged incident took place in the court premises, when he was there in connection with ongoing legal cases between him and his live-in partner.

“Pillai’s friend was furious at Paes as the latter had submitted evidence in the court that indicated Sharma’s illicit relationship with her,” said another police officer, quoting the complaint.

“We will see if there are any witnesses to substantiate Paes’ claims before going ahead and arresting Sharma. We will also examine CCTV footage,” the officer said on condition of anonymity.

In June, Pillai (48) filed a case of domestic violence and harassment against Paes, who has refuted her charges. In her complaint, Pillai had also accused Paes’s father Vece Paes of preventing her and her daughter from entering their Carter Road residence in Bandra. She had also sought blocking of any transfer of property to a “third party”.

In June, Paes, too, had filed ‘a guardianship petition’ in the family court, seeking permanent custody of his daughter from Pillai.