TENNIS  legendary player Leander Paes has filed a petition for the permanent custody of his and ex-partner Rhea Pillai’s minor daughter, Aiyana, at the family court in Bandra, media sources on Saturday said.

Leander Paes, who is “concerned for her safety and welfare”, also asked the court to permanently restrain Rhea from taking the eight- year old out of the city without reporting the court.

It is learnt that the plea runs into 30 pages and provides annexures to prove that he would be the better parent.  His reports says he wants the child’s custody as Rhea’s “escapades and irresponsible behaviour, lack of personal maternal supervision and volatile temper are detrimental to a healthy upbringing”. 

According to a report in, Leander Paes said his personal relationship with Pillai began to deteriorate soon after the birth of the child. Paes says she “completely withdrew herself from their relationship and sexual intimacy with him citing post-natal depression.” It was only later that he realised that Rhea was “deliberately trying to distance herself from him because she was engaging herself in other relationships and pursuing her fantasties.

Rhea is the former wife of actor Sanjay Dutt. Paes wasn’t legally married to her but they had been in a relationship since 2003.


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