In an interview with ‘Evening Standard‘, Jemima Goldsmith talks about her life in Pakistan, being married to Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, her children, her work, and her friendship with Monica Lewinsky.
Jemima says she saw parallels between her life and Lewinsky’s. “During the interviews, she [Monica Lewinsky] was describing the FBI sting, and I suddenly realised that the same year, in Pakistan, I’d had to leave the country because I’d also been threatened with jail on politically trumped-up charges. I’d been accused of smuggling antiques, one of the few non-bailable offences in Pakistan,” said Jemima, who had been targeted by the Nawaz Sharif government in 1998-99.
“I realised there were parallels [with Lewinsky], marrying an older, politically powerful man and being used to undermine him. It is not a normal decision, aged 21, with all the freedoms and privileges that we grew up with, to essentially give those up, to go and live in extremely black and white culture,” said Jemima.
“Adopt a black and white way of life and doctrine, with a man who was twice my age and a born again Muslim,” added Jemima.
“At that point in my life, I found some reassurance in the prescriptiveness of that culture, that religion, that man. When my sister [India Jane Birley] was asked in an interview why I went there she said, very intelligently, moral certitude.”
“It was seen as this great amorous adventure and I am not sure that was the whole story. I would say, in retrospect, that moral certainty might have been more of a driving factor,” said Goldsmith on her marriage with PM Khan.
“I do feel like I have an ability to see things from both points of view in a way that possibly some of my contemporaries, both in Pakistan or here, don’t. I even feel like I am right in the middle of the Islamophobia and anti-Semitism debate because I’ve seen both at firsthand. I’ve got half-Pakistani Muslim children and I was a young girl who was politically targeted because of my Jewish ethnicity. It’s an interesting perspective.”
Jemima says there are more exciting projects in the pipeline as far as her work is concerned — a political documentary series and a comedy. She nurtures a long-standing ambition to write a book as well.