Jemima Marcelle Goldsmith (born 30 January 1974) is a British-Pakistani TV, film and documentary producer and founder of Instinct Productions, a television production company. She was formerly a journalist and associate editor of The New Statesman, a British political and cultural magazine, and European editor-at-large for Vanity Fair. Goldsmith married Pakistan's now Prime Minister and former cricketer Imran Khan in 1995 and had two sons, Suleiman and Kasim. The couple divorced in 2004.
Early life and education
Born at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, Jemima Marcelle Goldsmith is the eldest child of Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart and financier Sir James Goldsmith (1933–1997). Her mother is from an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family, the daughter of the Marquess of Londonderry. Her father was the son of luxury hotel tycoon and former Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Major Frank Goldsmith, who was a member of the prominent Goldsmith family, which is of German-Jewish ancestry. Her paternal grandmother was French. Her parents were married to different partners at her birth but, in 1978, they married to legitimise their children. Goldsmith has two younger brothers, Zac Goldsmith and Ben Goldsmith, and five paternal and three maternal half-siblings, including Robin Birley and India Jane Birley.
Goldsmith grew up at Ormeley Lodge and attended the Old Vicarage preparatory school and Francis Holland School. From age 10 to 17, she was an accomplished equestrian in London. Goldsmith enrolled at the University of Bristol in 1993 and studied English, but dropped out when she married in 1995. She eventually completed her bachelor's degree in March 2002 with upper second-class honours. In 2003, she received her MA in Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, focusing on Modern Trends in Islam.
Film, TV and theatre
In 2016, Jemima Khan founded Instinct Productions, a London-based content company specializing in high-quality TV, documentaries and film with former Princess chief Henrietta Conrad.
Khan was executive producer for the EMMY nominated six-part documentary series, "The Clinton Affair" with Academy Award and Emmy winning Alex Gibney and Emmy winning director Blair Foster for A&E Network.
She was the executive producer of EMMY nominated The Case Against Adnan Syed, a TV documentary series for Sky Atlantic and HBO about the Adnan Syed case, which inspired the popular 'Serial' podcast which Academy Award nominee Amy Berg ("Deliver Us from Evil") directed.
She is a producer on Ryan Patrick Murphy's FX American Crime Story Season Three, airing September 2020.
She is also the executive producer of a TV drama series about the Rothschild banking dynasty written by Julian Fellowes.
She was the executive producer for the BAFTA-nominated documentary film We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks by Alex Gibney, released in 2013.
She was also the co-executive producer for the documentary films Unmanned: America's Drone Wars (released in 2013) and Making A Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA (released in 2016), both directed by Robert Greenwald. She co-produced the play Drones, Baby, Drones at the Arcola Theatre, directed by Nicolas Kent and Mehmet Ergen, that premiered in November 2016.
Although she had written articles when she lived in Pakistan, she started contributing to op-eds to the United Kingdom's newspapers and magazines including The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard and The Observer. In 2008, she was granted an exclusive interview with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on the eve of the elections for The Independent. She was a Sunday Telegraph columnist from 21 October 2007 to 27 January 2008.
She was a feature writer and a contributing editor for British Vogue from 2008 to 2011. In 2011, she was appointed Vanity Fair's new European editor-at-large. She was also an associate editor at The Independent.
In April 2011, she guest-edited the New Statesman and themed the issue around freedom of speech. She interviewed the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and included contributions from Russell Brand, Tim Robbins, Simon Pegg, Oliver Stone, Tony Benn, and Julian Assange, with cover art by Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst. According to Nick Cohen in The Observer, "Jemima Khan was by a country mile the best editor of the New Statesman that that journal has had since the mid-1970s". The magazine issue included "an unexpected scoop" from Hugh Grant who went undercover to hack Paul McMullan, a former News of the World journalist, who had been involved in hacking as a reporter. In November 2011, she joined as an associate editor of the New Statesman.
In 1998, Khan launched an eponymous fashion label that employed poor Pakistani women to embroider western clothes with eastern handiwork to be sold in London and New York. Profits were donated to her husband's Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. She ran the organisation until December 2001, when she shut down the business due to the economic situation following the September 11 attacks, and so she could focus on fundraising and on supporting her husband in Pakistani politics.
In 2008 she modelled the relaunched Azzaro Couture fragrance and was a guest co-designer of a Spring 2009 collection for Azzaro, with her fee reportedly donated to UNICEF.
As voted by Daily Telegraph readers, she won the Rover People's Award for the best dressed female celebrity at the 2001 British Fashion Awards. She was also featured on Vanity Fair's annual International Best-Dressed List in 2004, 2005 and 2007, the last of which she was inducted into their Best Dressed Hall of Fame.
During her marriage, Goldsmith established the Jemima Khan Afghan Refugee Appeal to provide tents, clothing, food, and healthcare for Afghan refugees at Jalozai camp in Peshawar.
She became an Ambassador for UNICEF UK in 2001 and made field trips to Kenya, Romania, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the last of which she later helped victims of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake by raising emergency funds. She has promoted UNICEF's Breastfeeding Manifesto, Growing Up Alone and End Child Exploitation campaigns in the UK.
In 2003, she visited Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza to promote the charity Hope and Optimism for Palestinians in the Next Generation (HOPING).
She also supports the Soil Association and the HOPING foundation for Palestinian refugee children.
Politics and social action
In addition to her charitable work, Goldsmith campaigns for various social and political causes. She has campaigned against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as for freedom of information; she attended Assange's extradition hearings and gave a speech at the Stop the War Coalition's rally in defence of Wikileaks alongside Tony Benn and Tariq Ali. Along with John Pilger and Ken Loach, she was part of the six-member group in Westminster Magistrates Court willing to post bail for Julian Assange when he was arrested in London on 7 December 2010. However, she later changed her mind about Assange, questioning his unwillingness to answer the sexual misconduct allegations which led to his arrest and what she described as his demand for "cultish devotion" from his supporters.
In 2014, she publicly backed the Hacked Off campaign group which advocates reform of British press regulation. In August 2014, she was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
On 3 November 2018, Jemima Goldsmith criticized the fact that the Government of Pakistan was considering putting the Christian woman, Asia Bibi, on the exit control list although she was acquitted by the Supreme Court, to compromise with the Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.
Goldsmith married Imran Khan, current Prime Minister of Pakistan, a famous Pakistani cricketer, and philanthropist. They also had a civil ceremony on 21 June 1995 at the Richmond Register Office, followed by a midsummer ball at Ormeley Lodge. A few months before her wedding, she converted to Islam, citing the writings of Muhammad Asad, Charles le Gai Eaton and Alija Izetbegović as her influences. After her marriage to Khan, she relocated to his hometown, Lahore, Pakistan, where she learned to speak Urdu and also wore traditional Pakistani clothes.
She wrote in a 2008 article for The Times that she "over-conformed in her eagerness to be accepted" into the "new and radically different culture" of Pakistan.
Goldsmith stated that before her conversion to Islam she was technically Anglican but "was made familiar with Jewish traditions" since her paternal grandfather Frank Goldsmith was German Jewish. During her marriage, her Jewish heritage was used by Imran Khan's political opponents to question their credibility in Pakistani politics, especially concerning accusations that they supported the Jewish lobby.
In 1999 she was charged in Pakistan with illegally exporting Islamic era antique tiles. She said that the charge was a fabrication to harass and damage her husband but left Pakistan to stay with her mother for fear of incarceration. After General Pervez Musharraf overthrew elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a coup d'état, in 1999, the Ministry of Culture and Archaeology verified the tiles were not antiques, and the Pakistani court dropped the charges, allowing her to return to Lahore.
Goldsmith supported her husband as he became more involved in his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Imran became a member of Pakistan's parliament in 2002 and has been a "vociferous critic of President Pervez Musharraf".
On 22 June 2004, it was announced that the couple had divorced ending the nine-year marriage because it was "difficult for Jemima to adapt to the political life of Imran Khan in Pakistan".
The marriage ended amicably. Imran Khan has said the six months leading to the divorce and the six months after were the hardest years of his life. After the divorce Goldsmith returned to Britain with the former couple's two sons. According to the divorce settlement, Khan's boys visit him in Pakistan during their school holidays, and when he comes to London to see them he stays with his former mother-in-law, Lady Annabel Goldsmith. According to Jemima Goldsmith, she and Khan remain on good terms.
Goldsmith has two sons from her marriage to Imran Khan: Sulaiman Isa (born 1996) and Kasim (born 1999). She retained "Khan" as her family name till December 2014 when Imran Khan married news anchor Reham Khan. On 29 December 2000, she and her family were on a British Airways jet to Kenya which was temporarily knocked off course and dived thousands of feet after a mentally ill passenger tried to seize controls in the cockpit. Her mother later said, "Jemima was frightened of flying even before the incident; she's petrified now". While she was married, she was described as being shy, but also modest, stylish and levelheaded. She was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales who visited her in Lahore in 1996.
In 2002, she was listed at number 18 with £20m on the Evening Standard's young millionaires list.
Following her divorce in 2004, she returned to London and later became involved in a romantic relationship with Hugh Grant. A 2005 article in the Evening Standard noted that "Jemima's profile" changed from "high during her first marriage" to "soaring since she became involved with Hugh Grant". Her relationship was scrutinised extensively by the tabloids, but a 2005 survey of London visitors favoured them as "the celebrity couple people would most like to show them around London". In February 2007, Grant announced that the couple had "decided to split amicably". Grant's spokesman added that he "has nothing but positive things to say about Jemima."
In September 2013, The Daily Telegraph reported that she was dating British activist and actor Russell Brand. In September 2014, she and Brand separated.