Padma Lakshmi Speaks Out After Ex Husband Salman Rushdie’s Stabbing: ‘Can Finally Exhale’
Padma Lakshmi, whose ex-husband Salman Rushdie was attacked in a brutal stabbing in Chautauqua, New York, spoke out about the agonizing worry she went through this weekend and provided a light update on his condition.
She said the novelist is now “pulling through” and said she had been “worried and wordless” following the Friday stabbing. A reporter was on site at the Chautauqua Institution where Rushdie was set to speak, but got rushed and assaulted by a lone attacker as he was being introduced.
Relieved @SalmanRushdie is pulling through after Friday’s nightmare. Worried and wordless, can finally exhale. Now hoping for swift healing.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) August 14, 2022
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Rushdie’s family and representatives have also given statements about his severe injuries. While he remains in critical condition he has reportedly made some steps to recovery. His literary agent Andrew Wylie followed up news that he had been taken off a ventilator on Saturday by saying his “condition is headed in the right direction.”
The author has several severe and likely permanent injuries from this encounter including liver damage, and severed nerves going to an arm and eye. His son, Zakar Rushdie, said that despite his condition, “his usual feisty & defiant sense of humor remains intact.”
Rushdie’s attacker was arrested and identified as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from New Jersey. He has been charged with attempted murder and assault and pleaded not guilty this past weekend.
The attack was swiftly condemned by those in the literary world and beyond. The lecture itself was part of a series about protecting the freedom of expression of writers, painting the attack in an even darker light. Rushdie has been a stalwart advocate of free speech despite the risks to his safety.
He lived in hiding under protection of the British government for over a decade while under an execution from a former leader of Iran. It remains in effect despite the passing of Ayatolla Ruholla Khomeini.
His novel The Satanic Verses is what prompted this order due to its depiction of the prophet Muhammed. His other novels have also been fearlessly bold and critical in their language, with his debut Midnight’s Children sharply panning Indira Gandhi, then-prime minister of India, where he was born.
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