Sunanda was a sales manager in the Dubai-based TECOM Investments, and a co-owner of the India-based Rendezvous Sports World. She had married Sanjay Raina and Sujith Menon. He was the third wife of Tharoor, who too married twice on earlier occasions before choosing Sunanda as his life partner. Just before her death, she was involved in a Twitter battle with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, who was rumoured to have an affair with Shashi Tharoor.
Doctors at KIMS Hospital Trivandrum, had earlier said that Sunanda did not have serious health problems. On 1st July 2014, controversy over her death deepened when AIIMS doctor Sudhir Gupta claimed that he was pressured to give a false report in the case. On October 10, 2014 The Times of India reported that Sunanda died from poisoning.