Padma Lakshmi On Ex-Husband Salman Rushdie’s Attack: I’m 'Worried And Wordless'

The “Top Chef” star spoke for the first time about Rushdie's “nightmare” experience of being stabbed onstage during an event last week.

Padma Lakshmi is showing her support for ex-husband and author Salman Rushdie after a tragic event last week.

The “Top Chef” star tweeted Sunday that she is “relieved” Rushdie is “pulling through after Friday’s nightmare” of being stabbed multiple times while onstage in New York.

“Worried and wordless, can finally exhale,” Lakshmi also wrote in her tweet, suggesting that the author’s condition is improving. “Now hoping for swift healing.”

On Friday, a man rushed onto the stage at the Chautauqua Institution, where Rushdie was being introduced to deliver a lecture on the importance of freedom of creative expression.

The man soon began “punching or stabbing” the author, according to a reporter from The Associated Press who was on the scene.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said at a press conference that the moderator for the event was also attacked.

On Saturday, Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, said the author’s condition was improving. He had been removed from a ventilator and was able to talk. Wylie had previously said that Rushdie, 75, suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm. He also noted that Rushdie was likely to lose an eye.

Iran’s political regime has long targeted Rushdie for his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses.” Former Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious edict, that called for Rushdie to be put to death for writing a supposedly blasphemous book.

Rushdie was forced into hiding for nearly a decade after the book’s publication.

Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Toni Anne Barson Archive via Getty Images

Lakshmi met Rushdie at a party in New York in 1999 when he was married and she was an aspiring model and actor, according to a New York Times review of Lakshmi’s 2016 memoir, “Love, Loss and What We Ate.”

Lakshmi became Rushdie’s fourth wife in 2004. The author described the end of their marriage in 2007 as “a colossal calamity” to The Observer in 2008, saying that Lakshmi had asked for a divorce while he was trying to finish his novel “The Enchantress of Florence.”

Rushdie told the outlet that Lakshmi’s “nuclear bomb” of a request shook him so much that he feared that due to his “state of turmoil that I couldn’t work.”

“I got scared because I thought, ‘If I lose this, I’ve lost everything,’” he told the outlet at the time. “Genuinely, I think it was the biggest act of will that I’ve ever been asked to make, including after the fatwa, just to pull my head back together.”

Meanwhile, Lakshmi said in her memoir that Rushdie had once called her “a bad investment” due to her endometriosis, a painful uterine disorder. Lakshmi had extensive surgery due to the condition, which she said affected the couple’s sex life and contributed to their split.

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