Padma Lakshmi Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted at 16

Lewis Collier
September 26, 2018

"Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi tweeted last week that she was raped as a teenager, and on Tuesday, the TV star delved deeper into the scarring experience in an op-ed for The New York Times.

"When we went out, he would park the auto and come in and sit on our couch and talk to my mother", she recalled in the piece. "Afterward, he said, 'I thought it would hurt less if you were asleep.' Then he drove me home". She closed her essay by saying that she hopes "daughters never know this fear and shame and our sons know that girls' bodies do not exist for their pleasure and that abuse has grave consequences".

In the piece, Lakshmi recounts that on the night of the incident, New Year's Eve, she and her boyfriend went to a couple of parties before returning to his apartment. He said to her following the rape, "I thought it would hurt less if you were asleep". Lakshmi was exhausted and fell asleep: "The next thing I remember is waking up to a very sharp stabbing pain like a knife blade between my legs. On Friday, I tweeted about what had happened to me so many years ago", she said.

"Christine Blasey Ford (the first accuser) said he (Kavanaugh) climbed on her and covered her mouth during an attempted rape when they were both in high school, and Deborah Ramirez (second accuser) said he exposed himself to her when they were in college", she wrote. She said it took her "decades" to talk about the rape with partners and therapists. "But the woman pays the price for the rest of her life, and so do the people who love her". One day, she writes, when both of them came home together and went to bed, she woke up with him on top of her. "For years I've been telling her the simplest and most obvious words that it took me much of my life to understand: "If anybody touches you in your privates or makes you feel uncomfortable, you yell loud".

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She said that she did not report the incident to the police or tell her mother, writing that she not fully understood the experience despite the trauma inflicted on her. "I asked, 'What are you doing?" "Why were you dating someone so much older?'" she wrote. "You may want to know if I had been drinking on the night of my rape". It doesn't matter, but I was not drunk. "It still doesn't matter, but I was wearing a long-sleeved, black Betsey Johnson maxi dress that revealed only my shoulders".

Additionally, she spoke of being assaulted by her step-father's relative when she was 7-years-old. She has been a supermodel and also has worked in the Indian film industry a bit but now is a full time philanthropist and often speaks up on the very pertinent and relevant topic of human rights.

"Now, 32 years after my rape, I am stating publicly what happened".

"I have nothing to gain by talking about this".

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