‘Top Chef’ Padma Lakshmi hopes ex Salman Rushdie has ‘rapid healing’ after attack

Nardine Third
los angeles times

‘Top Chef’ host and judge Padma Lakshmi said her ex-husband, author Salman Rushdie, is recovering after being stabbed multiple times at a talk in upstate New York last week. I’m relieved.”

The author of ‘Love, Loss, and What We Ate’ says he’s ‘just getting over it’ after Friday’s nightmare in which he was seriously injured at the Chautauqua Institution, a non-profit education and retreat center tweeted on Sunday.

“I am so worried and silent that I can finally breathe,” 51-year-old Lakshmi wrote on Twitter. “Now I wish you a speedy recovery.”

Married from 2004 to 2007, Lakshmi was the scribe’s fourth and most recent wife. Rushdie dedicated her 2001 novel Fury to her, and characters in her books are modeled after her. In her 2012 memoir “Joseph Anton,” he portrays her as her wayward narcissist.

Prior to Lakshmi, Rushdie, 75, was married to Clarissa Luard, novelist Marianne Wiggins, and author Elizabeth West.

According to the Associated Press, after Friday’s brutal attack, Rushdie was taken off a ventilator on Saturday and allowed to speak and joke. “The situation is heading in the right direction,” but warned that his recovery will be a long process.

The author of “Midnight’s Children” remains in critical condition after saying the attack damaged his liver, severed a nerve in his arm and likely lost his eye.

“His life-altering injury is devastating, but his usual spirited and rebellious sense of humor has not been compromised,” Zafar Rushdie, the son of the author and Luard, told the AP on Sunday. In a statement, he also thanked “members of the audience who made the brave leap”. “Thanks to Rushdie’s defense, police, doctors and the “outpouring of love and support from around the world.”

Hadi Mathar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty Saturday to attempted murder and assault charges in what prosecutors called a “targeted, unprovoked, pre-planned attack.”

The attack on the Booker Prize winner was widely condemned in the West. The book was banned in more than a dozen Muslim countries, and Rushdie received a fatwa (high-profile proclamation) calling for Rushdie’s death in response to the 1988 novel. Hidden under a British government protection program for nine years after the was denounced as blasphemy against Islam.

On Monday, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry “absolutely and seriously” denied any links between the Islamic Republic and the sting. Instead, he turned the blame for the attack on the author and his supporters.

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