Padma Lakshmi 'relieved' that ex Salman Rushdie is off a ventilator
14th August 2022

Padma Lakshmi is ‘relieved’ that her ex-husband Salman Rushdie ‘is pulling through’ and off a ventilator… after he was brutally stabbed on stage

  • Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi tweeted after he was brutally attacked
  • The model, 51, was ‘relieved’ after news that he was off a ventilator
  • Lakshmi and the renowned writer were married from 2004 to 2007 
  • Sir Salman was about to give a lecture on Friday when a masked knifeman stormed the stage and attacked him
  • The suspect, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, 24, has since pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges, and was refused bail
  • Sir Salman is on a hospital ventilator after suffering a damaged liver, severed nerves in his arm and he is likely to lose an eye, according to his spokesperson
  • He is still in critical condition 

Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi wrote that she was ‘relieved’ following reports that he seemed to be recovering after he was brutally attacked at a speaking engagement on Friday.

The 51-year-old Top Chef host, who was married to Rushdie from 2004 until their 2007 divorce, also hoped that he would have ‘swift healing’ from the attack.

Her tweet followed news that Rushdie’s had been taken off a ventilator and was able to say a few words, though he is still in critical condition.

Sigh of relief: Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi wrote Sunday that she was ‘relieved’ following reports that he was recovering after he was brutally attacked on Friday; seen in May in Hollywood

‘Relieved @SalmanRushdie is pulling through after Friday’s nightmare,’ Lakshmi wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning. ‘Worried and wordless, can finally exhale. Now hoping for swift healing.’

‘Rushdie was stabbed on Friday as he was about to give a lecture at a literary festival.

The author’s 1988 novel the Satanic Verses, which reimagines parts of the Prophet Muhammad’s life, led to Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa — a death sentence — against Rushdie. 

His attacker, Hadi Matar, 24, is a sympathizer of the Iranian regime. 

Wishing for the best: Lakshmi said she had been ‘worried and wordless,’ but she was ‘hoping for swift healing’

Improving: Rushdie was reportedly able to go off his ventilator and could say a few words. His liver was damaged and nerves in his arm were severed from the attack. He may also lose an eye; seen in 2006

Although Lakshmi was gracious in her tweet, she and Rushdie have previously disparaged each other in their memoirs. 

Rushdie accused Lakshmi of ‘majestic narcissism,’ while Lakshmi wrote that her ex-husband required constant praise, feeding and attention, not to mention ‘frequent sex.’

The Top Chef host was seen grabbing lunch at the Il Posto Accanto restaurant in the East Village with her beloved Chihuahua by her side on Saturday afternoon.

Around the time Lakshmi was out to lunch, the man suspected of attacking her ex-husband, 75, during a speaking engagement on Friday had his first day in court. 

Rushdie’s son Zafar Rushdie, 42, offered a hopeful update on his father’s condition on Sunday.

Although he clarified that the writer was still in critical condition and had ‘life-changing injuries,’ he was relieved that Rushdie’s ‘usual feisty & defiant sense of humor remains intact.’

Zafar included thanks for the audience members who fought off his father’s attacker and the first responders who treated him quickly. 

Change of tone: The former couple, who are pictured in February 2006, were married from 2004 to 2007. They haven’t been kind to each other in subsequent memoirs

Positive update: Rushdie’s son Zafar Rushdie, 42, offered a hopeful update on his father’s condition on Sunday

Matar pleaded not guilty, through his lawyer, to attempted murder and assault charges, and was refused bail.

The suspect, a New Jersey resident, is accused of stabbing Sir Salman Rushdie, whose novel The Satanic Verses (1988) triggered death threats, just as he was being introduced at a lecture at the Chautauqua Institute, a nonprofit education and retreat center.

He was about to give a lecture when a masked knifeman stormed the stage and attacked him.

In a three-minute video clip shared by one of the attendees, people could be heard screaming and gasping as a dozen audience members, including a police officer, rushed to the stage and wrestled the attacker off the author. Blood was left spattered across a chair and a screen after the frenzied attack.

Sir Salman remains on a hospital ventilator after suffering a damaged liver and severed nerves in his arm in the brutal knife attack on Friday morning. His spokesman said he is also likely to lose an eye.

Terrifying: Dozens of onlookers quickly rushed to the stage to try to apprehend the suspect, and help Rushdie after he was attacked in front of hundreds


Helping: People rushed to assist the author after the attack, with the attacker being restrained by witnesses.  The motive for the stabbing is currently unknown

Quick response: Medics rushed to the scene to take the author to hospital to treat his injuries. A Chautauqua Institution spokesperson, where the event was taking place, said: ‘We are dealing with an emergency situation. I can share no further details at this time’

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