When a model who has worked with top designers like Versace, Ralph Lauren and Armani becomes a bestselling author, she is bound to become a media phenomenon. This is exactly what happened to the Indian born former model, Padma Lakshmi.
September 1970 born Padma, has been taking the entertainment industry by storm with her international modeling campaigns, cookbooks, and television shows.
She became a proud mother to Krishna Thea Lakshmi Dell on February 20, 2010, to much surprise after being diagnosed with endometriosis. The father of her daughter is Adam Dell with whom the Padma battled in court for several months to obtain full custody of Krishna.
Padma Lakshmi was married to the British Indian author Salman Rushdie for three years until 2007. Salman, who is older than the Padma by over twenty years, dedicated his novel to her when they were married. She was also in a relationship with Theodore Forstmann who died in 2011. Most recently she dated actor Richard Gere for six months in 2014.
Born to Iyer Brahmin parents, Padma spent her childhood in Chennai, India. After her parents’ split, she moved to New York with her nurse mother. She frequently visited grandparents who remained in Chennai.
She is the only child to her parents and has two half-siblings from her father’s marriage to her stepmother.
Padma is undeniably gorgeous and the trademark scar on her right arm has added to her beauty. She was branded with the scar when she got into a terrible auto crash in California at the age of fourteen. Her scar is a character trait as a model which she dons proudly to this date.
While enrolled at Clark University, her life took a turn for the better. She was scouted by an agent during her semester abroad in Madrid to be a model when she was eighteen. It didn’t take long for her to become a full-fledged model and soon she was modeling for names such as Versace, Emanuel Ungaro, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli, Versus and Alberta Ferretti.
She tried her hands at writing next which was an even more successful venture. Her first published recipe book Easy Exotic won the Best First Book award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 1999. The success brought her to her own show on Food Network called Padma’s Passport and in 2007 she published her second book, Tangy, Tart, Hot, and Sweet.
She also subsequently launched her acting career in 1997. She has appeared in a couple of Italian series such as Domenica In and Il Figilo di Sandokan. She starred in the 2001 film Glitter and Bollywood film Boom. She appeared next Aishwarya Rai in The Mistress of Spices in 2005.
She is a Primetime Emmy Award-nominated co-host of Top Chef which she also judges. She has guest starred in 30 Rock and Whose Line is it Anyway.
Padma is a speaker at the MIT Center for Gynepathology Research and helps them raise funds too. She founded Lakshmi Productions which reportedly will be producing a film based on Salman Rushdie’s novel. In 2009, she even launched a jewelry line.
Padma’s life story is undoubtedly inspiring. She has garnered great success in everything she has set out to do. From modeling, acting, writing cookbooks to host her own show, Padma has conquered all of her life pursuits. Now a mother, she centers her attention on her daughter.
Padma Lakshmi has an estimated net worth of $30 Million dollars while her ex-husband Salman Rushdie only worth $15 million dollars.