Rushdie And "Top Chef" Host Lakshmi Split

Salman Rushdie and Model Padma Lakshmi attend the Metropolitan Opera 2006-2007 season opening night at Lincoln Center Sept. 25, 2006 in New York City. Getty Images/Evan Agostini

The three-year marriage of Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi has ended, their publicists said Monday.

"Salman Rushdie has agreed to divorce his wife, Padma Lakshmi, because of her desire to end their marriage," his representative, Jin Auh, said in a statement. "He asks that the media respect his privacy at this difficult time."

Lakshmi's publicist, Christina Papadopoulos, said in a separate statement that Lakshmi "has agreed with her husband-author, Salman Rushdie, to end their marriage."

Photos: Celebrity Splits

"After an 8-year relationship including over three years of marriage, Lakshmi regrets that their mutual efforts failed to make the marriage work," the statement said.

Rushdie's recent British knighthood led to worldwide protests from Muslims angered by his 1989 novel, "The Satanic Verses."

Iran's late spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie because "The Satanic Verses" allegedly insulted Islam. The threat forced Rushdie to live in hiding for a decade.

Besides "The Satanic Verses," Rushdie's novels include "The Moor's Last Sigh" and "Midnight's Children," a Booker Prize winner and one of the most highly praised books of the past quarter century.

Lakshmi is the host of Bravo's "Top Chef" and the author of the cookbook "Easy Exotic." She starred in the 2006 ABC miniseries "The Ten Commandments."
  • Judy Faber

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