Shashi Tharoor was a rising star in Indian politics, with a fashionable wife, regular appearances on international TV and a bright future as a minister.
In less than a week, the minister of state for human resource development had an affair dramatically exposed on Twitter, and landed in the heart of a unprecedented media furore, culminating in the mysterious death of his wife in a Delhi hotel.
Tharoor, whose wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead on Friday, has appeared before a magistrate probing her death, after "injury marks" were found on her body. He has called for the investigation into his wife's death to be rigorous.
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"It was sudden, unnatural death. There were certain injuries on the body," Sudhir Gupta, the head of the forensic sciences department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told reporters.
It was Wednesday when Pushkar began posting a serious of astonishing messages on Twitter, linking her husband to an affair with a Pakistani journalist.
She said she wanted to expose a "rip-roaring affair" and accused journalist Mehr Tarar of stalking her husband. Tarar denied any involvement.
But a day later, the tweets were deleted, with the couple releasing a statement saying they were happily married, and blaming a hacked account.
"We are distressed by the unseemly controversy that has arisen about some unauthorised tweets from our Twitter accounts," the statement said.
"Various distorted accounts of comments allegedly made by Sunanda have appeared in the press. It appears that some personal and private comments responding to these unauthorised tweets - comments that were not intended for publication - have been misrepresented and led to some erroneous conclusions.
"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. We would be grateful if the media respects our privacy."
The couple had been staying at a luxury hotel because of renovations to their home. On Friday, Tharoor returned to their room and his wife's body was found after investigators forced open the door.
Tarar tweeted shortly after:
What the hell. Sunanda. Oh my God.— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) January 17, 2014
I just woke up and read this. I'm absolutely shocked. This is too awful for words. So tragic I don't know what to say. Rest in peace,Sunanda— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) January 17, 2014
Tharoor said in a statement after his wife's death that he was "horrified to read the reckless speculation in the media".
He continued: "I pledge my full and unstinting cooperation. Nothing short of the truth will end the indignity to which my wife and I are being subject at a time when all I seek is to be allowed to grieve in private with her and my near and dear ones."
The couple had a love life played out in the media, given to frequent public displays of affection and a fairytale wedding in 2010 splashed across the gossip magazines. It was a third marriage for both husband and wife.
On Monday morning, Tarar tweeted cryptically:
The truth will set you free.— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) January 20, 2014
Suggest a correction
In time.— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) January 20, 2014