Salman Rushdie's ex-wife Padma Lakshmi is sending her support after The Satanic Verses author was stabbed at an event in Chautauqua, New York on Friday. As Rushdie remains in the hospital, where he is being treated for multiple stab wounds, the Top Chef host broke her silence on social media, sending Rushdie her well-wishes.
The television host spoke out about the stabbing in a statement shared to Twitter on Sunday. In the post, Lakshmi said she is "relieved" after hearing that her ex-husband "is pulling through after Friday's nightmare." Rushdie was stabbed multiple times in the attack and put on a ventilator, which he has since been taken off of, with his literary agent Andrew Wylie later telling The New York Times that Rushdie "will likely lose one eye, the nerves in his arm were severed, and his liver was stabbed and damaged." In her Sunday post, Lakshmi went on to write, "worried and wordless, can finally exhale. Now hoping for swift healing." Lakshmi and Rushdie were married from 2004 to 2007.
Relieved @SalmanRushdie is pulling through after Friday’s nightmare. Worried and wordless, can finally exhale. Now hoping for swift healing.— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) August 14, 2022
Rushdie was stabbed during a planned event at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on Friday. As Rushdie was introduced and took the stage, suspect Hadi Matar rushed the stage and stabbed the author, according to police. Ralph Henry Reese was also attacked and sustained a minor head injury. Rushdie was stabbed "at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen," and airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Rushdie's son, Zafar Rushdie, provided an update on his father's health Sunday, telling NBC News that the author "remains in critical condition" and has been "taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen" and was "able to say a few words." Zafar continued, "Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humor remains intact. We are so grateful to all the audience members who bravely leapt to his defense and administered first aid along with the police and doctors who have cared for him and for the outpouring of love and support from around the world."
At this time, a motive for the stabbing remains unclear. Matar has been charged with attempted murder and assault, both in the second degree. According to CNN, Matar pleaded not guilty to the charges Saturday. The Chautauqua County District Attorney said in a statement that they have been in contact with local prosecutors in New Jersey, where Matar is from, "to better understand the planning and preparation which preceded the attack." Additional charges may later be added.