Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi supports author after attack

Sir Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi

Sir Salman and Padma were married for three years (Image: Getty/Rex)

Padma Lakshmi has expressed relief that her ex-husband Sir Salman Rushdie is “coming through” after he was brutally stabbed to death at a literary event in New York on Friday.

The 75-year-old acclaimed author suffered wounds to stab wounds to his neck, stomach, eye, chest and thigh after being stabbed while preparing to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution and was airlifted to the hospital, where he was taken to an emergency room ventilator.

Over the weekend he was finally able to breathe unaided and “say a few words” and his former partner Padma has now expressed her wish for a “speedy recovery”.

The 51-year-old tweeted on Saturday: “Relief @salmanrushdie is coming through after Friday’s nightmare.

‘Worried and wordless, can finally breathe easy. Now I hope for a quick recovery.”

Actress and model and TV chef Padma was married to Sir Salman from 2004 to 2007.

Padma took to Twitter to share her support for her ex-husband (Image: Frazer Harrison/Getty)

His son Zafar previously confirmed Sir Salman was not on a ventilator and was able to “say a few words” despite “life-changing” injuries.

He wrote: “My father remains in critical condition in hospital and is receiving comprehensive medical attention. We are very relieved that he was weaned off the ventilator and supplemental oxygen yesterday and was able to say a few words.

“Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual lively and defiant sense of humor remains intact.”

Padma Lakshmi and Sir Salman Rushdie in 2002

Padma and Sir Salman in 2002 (Image: WireImage)

Zafar also thanked the police officers and doctors who took care of his father, as well as the audience at the lecture in New York, who rushed to his aid and provided first aid after the attack.

Hadi Matar, 24, had pleaded not guilty during an attempted murder hearing on Saturday.

Hadi Matar, 24, center, arrives for a arraignment hearing at the Chautauqua County Courthouse on Saturday, August 13, 2022 in Mayville, NY

Hadi Matar at his arraignment hearing at the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, New York, on Saturday following the stabbing of Sir Salman (Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The award-winning author suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries in the attack but is now off ventilator (Image: PA)

Jason Schmidt, the Chautauqua District Attorney, said before the hearing, “The individual responsible for the attack, Hadi Matar, has now been formally charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault.”

Booker Prize-winner Sir Salman has endured Islamist death threats for years after the publication of his controversial 1988 novel The Satanic Verses, which many Muslims considered blasphemous.

A fatwa calling for the author’s assassination was issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s Supreme Leader, and Sir Salman spent almost a decade in hiding after it was published.

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US showbiz Salman Rushdie's ex-wife Padma Lakshmi supports author after attack

Jaclyn Diaz

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