British-Indian novelist, Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie and his wife Padma are going to end their 3-year marriage. Rushdie’s spokeswoman Jin Auh also confirmed the news on his behalf as he said:
Salman Rushdie has agreed to divorce his wife, Padma Lakshmi, because of her desire to end their marriage.
Rushdie, 60, who was awarded with a knighthood two weeks ago, from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, had married Padma in 2004. 37-year-old Padma was his fourth wife and the two did not have any children from this marriage.
Padma is also the host of U.S. cooking show TV show “Top Chef,” on Bravo cable network. She began her career as a model and later on turned to acting. She too has flair for writing and has written few cookbooks.
More than 20 years of age difference and intellectual stature between the couple was quite hyped by the British tabloids during their romance. But at that time Rushdie had defended Padma.
Rushdie told The Times of London in a 2005 interview:
Anyone who’s met Padma knows she’s as intelligent as they come. But, you know, it’s not supposed to be permitted to be gorgeous and really smart and also very nice. It feels very odd to see newspaper articles saying ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Why Do Beautiful Women Love Ugly Men? But at this stage, I’m kind of resigned to it at — as you say — pushing 60.
Rushdie achieved fame with his second novel, Midnight’s Children, a magic-realist exploration of Indian history in 1981 as he was awarded with the Booker Prize for it.
His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses in 1988 provoked intense reactions from Muslims worldwide. He got death threats from Muslims and Supreme Leader of Iran, late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, also issued a fatwa (religious edict) against him. Due to the fatwa, Rushdie had to spend several years underground and for nine years appeared in public only seldomly.