Ugly break-up for India's first supermodel

Lawyer claims Ujjwala Raut used 'powerful connections' to get her Scottish film-producer husband kicked out of country

They were the beautiful people. She was India’s first supermodel and he made movies and counted Guy Ritchie among his friends. When Craig Maxwell Sterry and Ujjwala Raut married five years ago, they did so at David Bowie’s Manhattan penthouse dressed in Yves Saint Laurent couture.

But things have turned decidedly ugly for the Scottish film producer and the woman who once sashayed alongside Naomi Campbell. A bitter break-up has been dragged into India’s courts and police in Goa say they are looking for Mr Sterry, who has gone into hiding after his residency permit was revoked and he was given 72 hours to leave the country.

Tomorrow Mr Sterry’s lawyer will argue his case before the country’s Supreme Court, claiming that Ms Raut has used her “powerful connections” to have his client’s visa quashed and separate him from their young daughter. “My wife being an extremely influential and powerful person has tried to create havoc in my life by initiating false complaints,” Mr Sterry, 47, was quoted as saying.

It had once been so very different. The pair met on a blind date in France. She later told an interviewer that after the couple’s first date, Mr Sterry confided to a close friend: “I’ve just met my wife.” They talked about eloping, but the pair eventually decided to get married in New York and Ms Raut became pregnant soon afterwards.

The couple moved to Goa and did up an old property in Alconda, and then Ms Raut decided to resume her work as a model. And so Mr Sterry – who, because he was married to an Indian was granted a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card and permitted to live in India – stayed in Goa with their daughter Ksha while Ms Raut jetted back and forth.

Things took a turn for the worst last year when, after a series of incidents when Ms Raut brought home expensive gifts from men, the two fought. Both Mr Sterry and Ms Raut accuse the other of launching an unprovoked attack.

Earlier this year Ms Raut, 31, filed for divorce, claiming that both she and Ksha were frightened of Mr Sterry. He says he has not seen his daughter since March and has launched his own lawsuit, saying that because the couple were married in the US, Indian courts were not able to rule on their divorce.

Ms Raut, who won the Miss India title in 1996 and was the first Indian to appear as the face of Yves Saint Laurent, has declined to comment on the case, saying that the matter is now before the courts. However, earlier she told Indian journalists: “If Maxwell is alleging abuse and intimidation, why is he sending the media letters? Why is he not resorting to court procedures, which is how things should be?”

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices