Tweets on 'affair' sent by his wife
THE furious wife of the Indian government's top-tweeting minister admitted yesterday she had hacked his account to send out messages exposing an alleged affair he was having with a Pakistani journalist.
The scandal was splashed on the front pages of several newspapers after a curious series of messages appeared on the Twitter account of suave thrice-married human-resources minister Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday evening.
They showed private exchanges apparently between 57-year-old Tharoor and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, 45, in which she professed her love for him and he said his wife had discovered his adultery.
Mrs Sunanda Tharoor, formerly a Dubai-based entrepreneur whom the minister married in 2010, confessed to sending the messages and also dragged up a corruption scandal that nearly wrecked her husband's career.
"That woman pursued and pursued him... Men are stupid anyway... For all you know, she is a Pakistani agent. Where's love, where's loyalty in this world?... I am so distraught," she was quoted as saying in the Indian Express.
Mr Tharoor (@shashitharoor) posted a message on Wednesday to his two million followers claiming his account had been "hacked", while Ms Tarar (@mehrtarar) denied having an affair with him in a series of tweets.
Mrs Tharoor told the Economic Times: "Our accounts have not been hacked and I have been sending out these tweets."
She also referred to a cricket scandal in 2010 shortly after her husband entered politics, in which she got a free stake in an Indian Premier League cricket franchise. Mr Tharoor resigned then, telling Parliament he had done "nothing improper or unethical, let alone illegal".
In a bid to control the damage this time, he issued what he described as a joint statement saying that the couple were "distressed" by a controversy created by "unauthorised tweets" and denounced "distorted accounts of comments allegedly made by Sunanda in the press".
"We wish to stress that we are happily married and intend to remain that way. Sunanda has been ill and hospitalised this week and is seeking to rest," it said.