'Top Chef's' Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie to Divorce

Fans of magic realism literature and reality television might not have ever expected those worlds to intersect, but they did in the marriage between Top Chef host/resident hottie Padma Lakshmi and recently-knighted author Salman Rushdie.  The May-December couple - he's 60 and she is 37 - have been married since April of 2004.

Unfortunately, just a couple weeks after Rushdie received the British knighthood, the two have announced that their marriage will be ending.

Rumors of a separation began circulating in March of this year, and the official announcement confirming the divorce was made on Monday by Rushdie's spokewoman.  The statement was worded to seem to indicate that it is Padma Lakshmi who sought the end of the marriage.  Said the spokeswoman, "Salman Rushdie has agreed to divorce his wife, Padma Lakshmi, because of her desire to end their marriage," before going on to make the usual request for privacy.

Lakshmi’s rep also released a statement, the wording of which made the responsibility seem more mutual, saying, "After an 8 year relationship including over 3 years of marriage, Lakshmi regrets that their mutual efforts failed to make the marriage work."

Although the two may seem on the surface to have been an odd couple, Lakshmi is, in fact, an author herself.  She has already published one cookbook, titled Easy Exotic, Best First Book at the 1999 World Cookbook Awards at Versailles.  Another cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet is scheduled to be released in September of this year. 

Lakshmi's role as host on Top Chef is not her first foray into food television.  She has also hosted Padma's Passport, part of the Food Network's Melting Pot series.  When the separation rumors surfaced in March, some said her desire to focus on her hosting career was part of the reason for her desire to leave the marriage.

Fans of Lakshmi will have to wait another week to see her on a new Top Chef episode as there will be no new episode on July Fourth.


- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: People, Gawker

(Image courtesy of Bravo)