Inside Amir Khan and Faryal Makhdoom’s rocky relationship as second baby is born
Amir Khan and his wife Faryal Makhdoom have welcomed their second child.
But their relationship has been anything but a fairytale romance – full of ups and downs, and with plenty of bumps along the way.
As the couple, who already shared three-year-old daughter Lamaisah, celebrate the birth of their second child, a second daughter named Alayna, we take a look back at their rocky relationship.
Amir got engaged to American model Faryal in 2012 when she was 20 and he 26. It was a suitably lavish affair, a £100,000 rock and a £150,000 party for 1,000 guests at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium.
At the time, the boxer insisted marriage would not distract him from victories in the ring.
He said at the time: "Marriage won’t change me. I’ll stay the way I am. My fiancée understands the way I am and she knows what comes first for me. My sport has always been there. I want to dedicate myself to fighting for the next couple of years. She’s cool with that. And our families help. They really get on.
"She’s not seen the ring yet, in fact I’ve not seen her since we got engaged, so it will be good to catch up."
Amir planned to keep Faryal, who was a political science and journalism student, out of the spotlight.
In 2012, he apologised to his future wife who was ‘disgusted’ after he posted a photo of himself posing next to a scantily-dressed Las Vegas pole dancer while holding huge wads of cash. The devout Muslim and former world champion had put the picture on Twitter with the comment "Let’s play lol."
He later deleted the tweet and apologised to Faryal and his followers who accused him of disrespecting their religion. He claimed the cash he is pictured holding was fake, and that the woman on the pole was not a stripper but a woman performing "acrobatics".
Originally when she first saw the posting Faryal tweeted: "Ew. Woke up to something very disgusting & disturbing."
She quickly downplayed her reaction adding: “Oh well! I’ll still smile through my day. Hehe.”
But when the backlash started against Amir, who she met the year before, she took to her Twitter account defending her husband-to-be.
The New York student tweeted: “Everyone needs to take a chill pill. I am aware of everything my man does. Thanks for the concern. However, there’s a big difference between a strip club & a normal club. I think most clubs in Vegas do have pole dancers. Even I knew that lol.
"Also, a relationship is all about trust, not stupid stuff like this lol."
Later that year, Faryal demanded a showdown with one of his ex-lovers… to find out if he cheated on her. She requested a meeting with Natalie Fox after growing suspicious of the world champion.
It is believed she discovered text messages between Amir and blonde model Natalie alluding to a fling. Natalie, then 28, claims she bedded him just two weeks before his official engagement to Faryal in January 2012.
But Amir, then 25, insists it happened a year earlier in January 2011.
Faryal and Amir met when the boxer was doing a photoshoot for Vogue in New York. Faryal told the Bolton News : "During that time we went for dinner with mutual friends and since then we kept in touch and became really good friends.
“He says he believes in love at first sight but I don’t really believe in that. I really liked him as a person. I couldn’t imagine how humble he was. A respectful guy. It really made me fall in love with him.”
The Bolton-born boxer went on to tie the knot with Faryal at the five-star Waldorf Astoria, in New York, in 2013. The former Olympian showed off his fast footwork – doing a Bollywood dance routine with his ushers for 350 guests at the reception.
The couple wore costumes of red, silver and white, heavily encrusted with glittering gems – with Faryal’s so heavily decorated it is said to have weighed her down.
A source said: “It was an incredible ceremony. Because of his training the arrangements were left to Faryal but she did a brilliant job. They couldn’t take the smiles off their faces.”
After walking down the aisle in New York, the couple then flew back to Bolton for a second ceremony attended by more than 4,000 people in a bid to please his family.
They went on to have a daughter – but Amir’s plan to keep his catwalk model wife out of the spotlight backfired when they became embroiled in a very public feud with his family as she was subjected to abuse over her western choice of dress.
She claimed that they were attempting to bully her and it led to Amir falling out in spectacular fashion with his relatives.
In an early sign of the familial troubles, Amir revealed his family had moved out of the house which is next door to his in a leafy suburb of Bolton. He said he had done his best and bought them a new home.
Faryal claimed the abuse had happened when she was expecting their daughter and that his relatives had told them to divorce her when she was nine months pregnant.
In December 2016, Faryal claimed she had been subjected to a tirade of abuse, and accused her in-laws of trying to destroy her marriage.
Amir’s mother responded in the press accusing Faryal of lying, adding: “I once told her, ‘Faryal, do not wear this type of clothes; wear a scarf.’ But she paid no heed so I stopped saying it to her again, because it was Amir’s duty to tell her that.”
His father also said at the time: “Faryal was adopting a dress code which in the Islamic faith was not acceptable. I am a father to two daughters whom I have treated exactly the same way as I have treated Faryal.”
As the row escalated, Amir threatened to cut his parents out of his life, and in February 2017, he sacked his father Shah as his manager after their feud hit rock bottom.
But they have since resolved the feud – with Faryal acting as peacemaker. In June 2017 the boxer decided to bury the hatchet after inviting Shah to watch Pakistan versus India ICC Champions Trophy match at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
All appeared to be well between the couple and the Khan family.
Amir and Faryal had split up, but got back together just before he entered the I’m A Celebrity jungle in November 2017.
He later said on Loose Women that the real reason for their marriage problems was a "lack of communication".
"What went wrong was a lack of communication," he admitted, going into detail about how being laid off from boxing training had given him too much time to think.
"The way it went public wasn’t nice. I think anger sometimes takes over. We want to make sure all that’s put behind us."
Amir went on: "I was going through that hand injury I had, not being in the boxing ring, being away from my family, going through a lot of stuff in my life – when I was away from the boxing ring I lost that focus, that structure.
"Not being in the gym, not training, having a lot of downtime, you have a lot of energy in your body and sometimes it’s mental as well."
Faryal, who at the time was six months pregnant with the couple’s second child, pointed out that their long-distance relationship didn’t help either.
"I was in England, he was in Dubai – he thought he was a bit cool in Dubai, judging by his tweets," she quipped.
Amir confessed that he’d had something of an existential crisis and didn’t know who to turn to.
"My family were very supportive, my parents, they kind of helped me when I said I didn’t know what to do. I did come to a stage where I didn’t know what to do with my life, I was breaking my marriage, I wasn’t boxing, I had a hand injury.
"I didn’t know where to go or what to do. Being a Muslim I started praying and that’s one of the things that put me on the right path."
He said the I’m A Celebrity chance come along just at the right time to save him, and he credited the programme with helping his marriage recover.
"It was a detox for me, just to get away from everything," he added.
And in February last year, Amir faced cheating claims.
At the time, Faryal announced she was spending Valentine’s Day alone, just days after her husband was accused of trying to convince a model to visit him in San Francisco while his wife was out of town.
"Btw How corny is Valentine’s Day … Who’s going to be sitting at home? Eating chocolates they bought themselves?" Faryal darkly asked her followers.
The couple left for America on January 29, with Amir destined for a training camp in San Francisco and Faryal for New York.
They were due to meet up after a week, but model Dasha Abdelgany, 27, claimed that Khan tried to convince her to fly over and see him before Faryal arrived.
Just days after insisting he wasn’t a cheat and that he was unfairly targeted by women, Dasha said Khan, 31, told her that she was cute, drooled over her voice and said of her lips: "Wow."
She claimed he befriended her after a social media spat and invited her to fly from her home in New York to meet him at his San Francisco training base.
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