Salman Rushdie attack: Padma Lakshmi says she is ‘relieved’ her former husband is ‘pulling through’

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Three days after acclaimed author Salman Rushdie was attacked in New York, his ex-wife Padma Lakshmi has said that she is hoping for Rushdie’s speedy recovery.

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The Indian-American writer, model and television host took to Twitter to write, “Relieved @SalmanRushdie is pulling through after Friday’s nightmare. Worried and wordless, can finally exhale. Now hoping for swift healing.”

The 51-year-old’s statement came as Rushdie’s son Zafar Rushdie said the family was “extremely relieved” that the best-selling author was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen, and that he was able to say a few words.

“Following the attack on Friday, my father remains in a critical condition in hospital receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter, and added: “Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact.”

Lakshmi and Rushdie were in a marriage between 2004 and 2007. According to reports, they first met in 1999. While it was Rushdie’s fourth marriage, for Lakshmi it was her first. In 2016, she was quoted as telling People magazine: “For us Indians, he’s like Hemingway.”

“Imagine a young woman in her twenties, who loves books and who had published her little cookbook and in comes this guy. I mean, he was the best thing that ever happened to me by a mile. The fact that somebody of that stature and caliber was even remotely interested enough in me to want to take me to lunch was kind of unbelievable,” she had said.

Interestingly, their first date was at New York’s Central Park. While talking about her memoir ‘Love, Loss and What We Ate‘, she had told the publication back then, “He seduced me with his words. I was pretty hooked.”

Their initial years were “blissful”. “For me, it was wonderful because I finally had somebody who understood me because he, too, was Indian and he was also living in the West and he was very nimble in navigating those two worlds.”

Lakshmi also talked about her severe endometriosis pain that perhaps led to the culmination of their married life. “Endometriosis was definitely a major reason that my marriage failed and I don’t think either of us understood it at the time. I think that’s also because I hid it to a certain degree, not intentionally but you know, it’s weird to talk about your period all the time. It’s like the least sexy thing in the world to do… I think that Salman took it personally and I think that he felt rejected,” she was quoted as saying then.

Years after writing ‘The Satanic Verses‘, Rushdie had continued to face death threats. He was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident identified as Hadi Matar on Friday, at a literary event in the Chautauqua Institution in New York.

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