British author Salman Rushdie and his wife Padma Lakshmi, host of the TV show Top Chef, are getting divorced, the couple have announced, just two weeks after he was awarded a controversial knighthood. Rushdie, 60, is best known for his novel The Satanic Verses, which outraged many Muslims and prompted death threats that forced him to live in hiding for nine years. He married Lakshmi, 36, a former model born in India, in 2004. She was his fourth wife and the couple had no children.
“Salman Rushdie has agreed to divorce his wife, Padma Lakshmi, because of her desire to end their marriage,” said spokeswoman Jin Auh in a statement on his behalf. “He asks that the media respect his privacy at this difficult time.” Lakshmi’s publicist issued a similar statement that added, “After an eight-year relationship including over three years of marriage, Lakshmi regrets that their mutual efforts failed to make the marriage work.”