I was raped when I was 16, says Padma Lakshmi

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Padma Lakshmi.
Padma Lakshmi.

Salman Rushdie’s former wife and American model Padma Lakshmi says she was raped by her boyfriend when she was 16.

“When I was 16 years old, I started dating a guy I met at the Puente Hills Mall in a Los Angeles suburb. I worked there after school at the accessories counter at Robinsons-May,’’ she writes in the New York Times.

Lakshmi says the guy was 23 years old and he worked at a high-end men’s store.

“He would come in wearing a gray silk suit and flirt with me. He was in college, and I thought he was charming and handsome.’’

According to Lakshmi, she and her boyfriend were “intimate to a point, but he knew that I was a virgin and that I was unsure of when I would be ready to have sex.’’

Then this thing happened, she says.

“On New Year’s Eve, just a few months after we first started dating, he raped me.’’

On that day, writes Lakshmi, she and her boyfriend went to a couple of parties and then returned to his apartment.

“I was so tired that I lay on the bed and fell asleep. The next thing I remember is waking up to a very sharp stabbing pain like a knife blade between my legs. He was on top of me. I asked, “What are you doing?” He said, “It will only hurt for a while.” “Please don’t do this,” I screamed.’’

Lakshmi says the pain was excruciating.

When he was finished, he told Lakshmi, “I thought it would hurt less if you were asleep.”

After raping her, she says, her boyfriend drove her home.

“I didn’t report it. Not to my mother, not to my friends and certainly not to the police. At first I was in shock. That evening, I let my mother know when I was home, then went to sleep, hoping to forget that night.’’

Lakshmi has written about her own ordeal as she has been thinking about two women who have come forward to accuse Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

One of the woman, Christine Blasey Ford, says Kavanaugh tried to rape her when both of them were in high school by climbing on her and covering her mouth.

The other woman, Deborah Ramirez, says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were in college.

Citing her experience, Lakshmi says she understands why women sometimes wait for years to disclose a sexual assault.

 

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