Padma Lakshmi, best known for serving as the host on Top Chef, discusses about her marriage to acclaimed author Salman Rushdie in her new autobiography.

Padma Lakshmi On Salman Rushdie

In Love, Loss, and What We Ate, Lakshmi goes into detail about the beginning of the end of her marriage to Rushdie. The two, who met in 1999 when she was 28 and he was 51, enjoyed a passionate romance following the writer’s split from his third wife. They went on to marry in 2004, but in three short years later, the two called it quits. A major reason for the dissolution of the relationship was Lakshmi’s endometriosis.

When it turned out that Lakshmi’s endometriosis, which had gone undiagnosed for a significant amount of time, reduced her sex drive, Rushdie said, “How convenient,” according to Lakshmi’s book. In one instance when Lakshmi rejected his sexual advances, he dubbed her a “bad investment.” The tipping point in the marriage came when Lakshmi, home from a surgery that left stitches in a number of her major organs, was abandoned by Rushdie only one day into her recuperation.

“The show must go on, after all,” Rushdie told Lakshmi, who would go on to file for divorce.

Lakshmi also writes about having to care-take Rushdie’s ego during their marriage – whether it be consoling him for not winning the Nobel Prize for Literature or downplaying her own rising profile.

She quotes Rushdie as saying, “The only time Newsweek put me on their cover was when someone was trying to put a bullet in my head,” after she was placed on the cover of the magazine for a story about the “New India.”

Though Lakshmi paints the picture of a difficult marriage in Love, Loss, and What We Ate, in interviews promoting the book, she has explained that it wasn’t all bad all the time.

“Like any marriage it had its ups and downs,” she said on the Today show, adding of the complications that came with her endometriosis, “I think Salman did the best he could. There was a lot of love there. It just didn’t work out.”

Love, Loss and What We Ate is currently available in bookstores and via online retailers.

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