Poisoned lottery winner's ex-wife speaks out

January 14, 2013 3:39:42 PM PST
He died from a poisoning one day after receiving a lottery jackpot check. Now, Urooj Khan's ex-wife, who hadn't seen him or their daughter in 13 years, is speaking out.

Khan's ex-wife lives in northern Indiana. She says she had not seen him in more than 10 years until she was told about his death.

While Khan's siblings and widow fight over who gets control of lottery jackpot, there is a woman who lives just outside South Bend, Indiana, who Is watching the story uninterested in the money, but the daughter she had with Khan.

One day he won one million dollars in the Illinois lottery. The next: He was dead.

"I was under the impression he was living in India," said ex-wife Maria Jones.

Jones said she hasn't seen her late ex-husband in a dozen years. She claims he was an abusive husband who took their then-4-year-old daughter and returned to his native India. She had no idea he was back in the U.S., remarried and running a successful laundry business until his story became international news.

The day after Khan filed to claim his lump-sum lottery winnings he died. Within weeks, his wife Shabana Ansari collected the cash. Only later would a review of his autopsy find Khan died of cyanide poisoning.

"It was shocking news to me to see that. How could somebody do that? I don't know," said Jones.

Police interviewed Khan's current wife for nearly four hours. They also searched the couple's home.

"She absolutely, positively had nothing to do with her husband's death," said Ansari's attorney Steve Kozicki.

As for the wife Khan left more than a decade ago, she says he made enemies but couldn't fathom it would amount to murder.

"He was abusive -- mentally, verbally abusive. And yeah, he made my life - he made me be terrified of him," Jones said.

Khan's ex-wife hopes some good may come from all of this, that she'll be reunited with the 17-year-old daughter she hasn't seen in 13 years.