Padma Lakshmi will be opening up about the night she says she was sexually assaulted as a teenager along with also also its far-reaching consequences in her life.
The 48-year-old Top Chef host along with also also style writes in a fresh York Times Op-Ed published on Tuesday of which she was raped at 16 by a 23-year-old man she had been dating. She says the two met while she was working at the Puente Hills Mall in Los Angeles, where they both worked although at different stores.
“He would certainly come in wearing a gray silk suit along with also also flirt with me,” she recalls. “He was in college, along with also also I thought he was charming along with also also handsome. When we went out, he would certainly park your vehicle along with also also come in along with also also sit on our couch along with also also talk to my mother. He never brought me home late on a school night. We were intimate to a point, although he knew of which I was a virgin along with also also of which I was unsure of when I would certainly be ready to have sex.”
She says of which after a few months of dating, he raped her on fresh Year’s Eve. Lakshmi says of which after the two attended a couple of parties, she went to his apartment along with also also fell asleep on his bed.
“The next thing I remember will be waking up to a very sharp stabbing pain like a knife blade between my legs,” she writes. “He was on top of me. I asked, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘of which will only hurt for a while.’ ‘Please don’t do This kind of,’ I screamed.”
“The pain was excruciating, along with also also as he continued, my tears felt like fear,” she continues. “Afterward, he said, ‘I thought of which would certainly hurt less if you were asleep.’ Then he drove me home.”
Lashmi says she never reported the assault to the police along with also also didn’t tell her mother or her friends. She also admits to feeling confused about the incident.
“I don’t think I classified of which as rape — or even sex — in my head,” she notes. “I’d always thought of which when I lost my virginity, of which would certainly be a big deal — or at least a conscious decision. The loss of control was disorienting. In my mind, when I one day had intercourse, of which would certainly be to express love, to share pleasure or to have a baby. This kind of was clearly none of those things. Later, when I had some other boyfriends my senior year of high school along with also also in my first year of college, I lied to them — I said I was still a virgin. Emotionally, I still was.”
“When I think about of which currently, I realize of which by the time of This kind of rape, I had already absorbed certain lessons,” she continues. “When I was 7 years old, my stepfather’s relative touched me between my legs along with also also put my hand on his erect penis. Shortly after I told my mother along with also also stepfather, they sent me to India for a year to live with my grandparents. The lesson was: If you speak up, you will be cast out.”
Lakshmi will be going public about her sexual assault in response to President Donald Trump’s controversial tweet last week concerning Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while they were in high school. Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.
“I have no doubt of which, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would certainly have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “I ask of which she bring those filings forward to ensure of which we can learn date, time, along with also also place!”
Lakshmi says Trump’s comment made her think about her own sexual assault.
“These experiences have affected me along with also also my ability to trust,” she writes. “of which took me decades to talk about This kind of with intimate partners along with also also a therapist. Some say a man shouldn’t pay a cost for an act he committed as a teenager. although the woman pays the cost for the rest of her life, along with also also so do the people who love her.”
She also says she regrets not reporting her rapist although points out the scrutiny she believes she would certainly have been subjected to.
“We had no language from the 1980s for date rape,” she explains. “I imagined of which adults would certainly say: ‘What the hell were you doing in his apartment? Why were you dating someone so much older?’ … You may want to know if I had been drinking on the night of my rape. of which doesn’t matter, although I was not drunk. Maybe you will want to know what I was wearing or if I had been ambiguous about my desires. of which still doesn’t matter, although I was wearing a long-sleeved, black Betsey Johnson maxi dress of which revealed only my shoulders.”
“I think if I had at the time named what happened to me as rape — along with also also told others — I might have suffered less,” she later muses. “Looking back, I currently think I let my rapist off the hook along with also also I let my 16-year-old self down.”