Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi supports author after attack: ‘Hoping for swift healing’

Sir Salman and Padma were married for three years (Picture: Getty/Rex)

Padma Lakshmi has expressed her relief that her ex-husband Sir Salman Rushdie is ‘pulling through’ after he was brutally stabbed at a literary event in New York on Friday.

The 75-year-old celebrated author suffered wounds to stab wounds to his neck, stomach, eye, chest and thigh after being knifed as he prepared to give a talk at the Chautauqua Institution, and was airlifted to hospital where he was placed on a ventilator.

He was finally able to breathe unassisted and ‘say a few words’ over the weekend, and his former partner Padma has now expressed her wish for ‘swift healing’.

The 51-year-old wrote in a tweet on Saturday: ‘Relieved @salmanrushdie is pulling through after Friday’s nightmare.

‘Worried and wordless, can finally exhale. Now hoping for swift healing.’

Actress and model-turned-TV chef Padma was married to Sir Salman from 2004 until 2007.

Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi supports author after attack: ‘Hoping for swift healing’

Padma took to Twitter to share her support for her ex-husband (Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty)

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

His son Zafar previously confirmed Sir Salman was off the ventilator and was able to ‘say a few words’ despite suffering ‘life-changing’ injuries.

He wrote: ‘My father remains in critical condition in hospital receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment. We are extremely relived that yesterday he was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen and was able to say a few words.

‘Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact.’

Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi supports author after attack: ‘Hoping for swift healing’

Padma and Sir Salman in 2002 (Picture: WireImage)

Zafar went on to thank the police officers and doctors who had looked after his father as well as the audience members at the talk in New York who rushed to his defence after the attack and administered first aid.

Hadi Matar, 24, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder during an arraignment hearing on Saturday.

Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi supports author after attack: ‘Hoping for swift healing’

Hadi Matar at his arraignment in the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, New York on Saturday, following the stabbing of Sir Salman (Picture: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Salman Rushdie’s ex-wife Padma Lakshmi supports author after attack: ‘Hoping for swift healing’

The prize-winning author recieved ‘life-changing’ injuries in the attack but is now off his ventilator (Picture: PA)

Jason Schmidt, the Chautauqua County District Attorney, said prior to the hearing: ‘The individual responsible for the attack, Hadi Matar, has now been formally charged with attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree.’

Booker Prize winner Sir Salman has suffered years of Islamist death threats following the publication of his controversial 1988 novel The Satanic Verses, which was considered blasphemous by many Muslims.

A fatwa calling for the author’s assassination was issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, and Sir Salman spent nearly a decade in hiding after its publication.

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