My husband? Oh, he’s a writer dude

“She loves hip-hop, decorating her jeans and pillow fights. So how does she manage as Mrs Rushdie?”

Giles Hattersley in the London Times:

Padma_lakshmi102It might have been the way she slumped into her seat like an overgrown teenager, or the second time she said “dude”. Whenever it was, at some point I began to ask myself the same question that bitchy members of the London literati did two years ago: why on earth did Salman Rushdie marry her? She may be beautiful, have an arts degree from Clark, the American liberal college, and speak five languages (Hindi, Tamil, Italian, Spanish and English), but something about Padma Lakshmi makes it hard to take her seriously.

“So, dear,” The Sun once asked, “what first attracted you to the millionaire novelist Salman Rushdie?” Probably because of such remarks Lakshmi rarely grants interviews, but she is in London and keen to promote her British acting debut in ITV’s Sharpe’s Challenge — in which she happens to be very good.

It is also half-term for her stepson Milan, Rushdie’s eight-year-old from his third marriage. Despite her husband’s unhappy memories of the capital (years of living under a fatwa), the couple still spend about four months a year here. Usually they reside in Manhattan.

We meet in a members’ bar near her Notting Hill flat. She arrives late to a collective turning of heads. Looking bored in a vest and jeans, her beauty is still transcendent although her voice does rather spoil the effect. She is a nasal valley girl…

More here.