The women in Shashi Tharoor's life

File photo of Mr Shashi Tharoor (right) and his bride Sunanda Pushkar Sunday (left) taking part in their wedding ceremony in Pallakad, in 2010.

Sunanda Pushkar, his third wife:

When Ms Pushkar, a Dubai-based entrepreneur, married federal minister Shashi Tharoor in August 2010, many called it a fairy-tale wedding. The then 49-year-old bride wore a white sari with a golden border and the groom, who was then 54, wore a dhoti and kurta for the traditional wedding in the southern state of Kerala, where Mr Tharoor's family has its roots.

She soon became a regular on India's social circuit and was counted among the who's who of the Delhi glitterati. Rumours of a rift in the marriage, the third one for both, began last year when Mr Tharoor started showing up at social engagements on his own.

The daughter of a retired army lieutenant-colonel from Sopore in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, Ms Pushkar met her first husband Sanjay Raina in college in Srinagar.

The marriage soon ended in divorce and she married Sujith Menon, a close friend of her first husband. The couple moved to Dubai in the 1990s, but the marriage turned rocky, with her husband returning to India where he reportedly died in a road accident. The couple's son was six at the time.

Christa Giles, his second wife:

Ms Giles was the Deputy Secretary of the United Nations Disarmament Commission when she married Mr Tharoor in 2007, when they were both colleagues at the UN. But the marriage ran into trouble with Mr Tharoor returning to India to pursue a career in politics.

In an attempt to save their relationship, Ms Giles travelled to India in early 2010 and the couple went to the western city of Udaipur on a holiday, but later that year, they filed for divorce.

Tilottama Tharoor, his first wife: She lives in the US and is a humanities professor in New York University. When Mr Tharoor was posted as the head of the UN High Commissioner of Refugees office in Singapore from 1981 to 1984, she wrote for The Straits Times as Minu Tharoor. Their twin sons Ishaan and Kanishk, who were born in Singapore, work with Time magazine and openDemocracy.net respectively.

Mehr Tarar, the woman accused by Ms Pushkar of having an affair with her husband:

The Pakistani journalist is the former Op-ed editor of the Daily Times newspaper.

Based out of Lahore, she is a mother of a 13-year-old boy and is reported to be separated from her businessman husband, who lives in Bahrain.

Nirmala Ganapathy

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