Describing Padma Lakshmi in one word is really a difficult thing to do because she is very multi-faceted and has a track record of success in all her dealings. The multi-talented model, actress, entrepreneur, businesswoman, TV host and author became the first Indian supermodel and worked with top fashion labels across the United States and Europe. She is single at the moment but once had a rough patch with the marriage institution. Read on to learn more about this actress and model.
Padma Lakshmi Bio (Age)
Born on September 1, 1970, in Chennai, formerly known as Madras in India, Padma Lakshmi was given a really long name at birth (as is part of the Indian culture). Her birth name was Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan and she was born to her parents – Vaidynathan and Vijaya. Her father, Vaidynathan, worked with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer as an executive before he retired while her mother, Vijaya, is a retired nurse and medical practitioner who was concerned with the detection, treatment, and prevention of cancer.
Her parents had a divorce when she was just two years old and she moved on with her mother which made her spend most of her early life in Chennai, India with her maternal grandparents and later in the United States with her mother and stepfather. She was later diagnosed with the Stevens-Johnson syndrome as a teenager and she attended the William Workman High School, Industry, California and graduated in 1988. While in school, she suffered racial segregation and intimidation by her classmates so much that it affected her self-esteem.
After high school, the multi-lingual model who can speak her native dialect Tamil, Italian, Hindu, and English enrolled at the Clark University, Massachusetts to initially study Psychology but graduated in 1992 with a bachelors degree in Theater Arts instead. She was opportune to go for exchange programs in Madrid and Spain while she was in college.
Before venturing into acting, which she is known for, Padma Lakshmi had a career in modeling. She began her modeling career while she was still in college in 1991. While on her exchange program in Spain, a modeling agent met her in a café in Madrid with an offer to become a model and she never turned down the chance. It became a career path for her as she blossomed in it. Her career saw her travel across the globe – New York in the US, Millan in Italy, and Paris in France – and in the process, she became the first model from the Asian nation of India to do so.
The career saw her work for top global fashion brands as a model. She modeled for Gianni Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, among others. Padma Lakshmi has appeared on the cover of top magazines such as Vogue India, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire (India Edition), Newsweek, Avenue, Redbook, Asian Woman, Allure, to mention but a few. She gave her all to the job and even posed nude for Allure which was captured in their May 2009 edition of the magazine.
Going into film and television, Padma Lakshmi was part of the documentary Unzipped (1995) and TV series Domenica In (1997) before landing her first movie roles in the Italian films Il Figlio di Sandokan (1998) and Caraibi (Pirates: Blood Brothers) in 1999. This was followed by Linda e il brigadiere in 2000 where she featured in an episode of the show as an Indian lady. 2001 saw her feature in the musical movie Glitter as a disco singer, Sylk. The movie also featured Mariah Carey. She appeared in sci-fi TV show Star Trek: Enterprise the next year and then as a supermodel Sheila Bardez in Boom (2003).
Lakshmi appeared on the TV show Top Chef in 2006 as a hostess and a judge and is also the executive producer of the series. She joined the cooking show in its second season and has been recognized for her efforts. In 2007, the show was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program but didn’t win. Padma Lakshmi also failed to win despite being nominated in 2009 for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. The show will finally win the Emmy award (for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program) in 2010.
As an author, she has also written two cookbooks. The first one titled Easy Exotic won the “Best First Book” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 1999. She released her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot, and Sweet in October 2007. She also wrote a memoir which was released on 2016 International’s Women’s Day with the title Love, Loss and What We Ate.
What is Padma Lakshmi’s Net Worth?
The current net worth of the TV host and award-winning cookbook author cannot be determined at the moment as there are contrasting reports online. While some site has put her net worth at $20 million, others peg it at $30 million. However, what is clear is that the model has made good use of her career and has amassed enough to make her live out the rest of her days in luxury.
Another fact, however, is that her only daughter, Krishna Thea is way richer than her mother. She is worth $1.8 billion in trust fund money! Yes, that was the amount willed to Krishna as contained in the will of Padma Lakshmi’s billionaire ex-lover, Teddy Forstmann who died of brain cancer in November 2011.
Married Life – Husband, Daughter
Lakshmi has been married before. She was married from 2004 and 2007 to British novelist Salman Rushdie who was older than her by almost 20 years. Rushdie and Lakshmi met at a New York party in 1999 and Sir Rushdie was married at the time to his third wife. They began dating soon afterward and at first, it was all a dream for the stunning model.
Their relationship was not one of those you could describe as a match made in heaven as apart from the age discrepancy between them, Rushdie was a very unattractive man and observers and fans of the model wondered why she was inclined to make such a choice. Lakshmi had responded to the concerns of her fans saying one never decides who the heart falls in love with. The couple lived together for three years before tieing the nuptial knot on April 17, 2004.
However, three years on, the marriage hit the rocks and they were divorced in July 2007. At the time of their divorce, no reason was given for their separation, but in her 2016 memoir titled Love, Loss and What We Ate, she described the Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses author as being a cold, heartless, unsympathetic, uncaring, needy, and jealous man who despite her health challenge (when she was diagnosed with endometriosis) would want to have sex with her not minding her pain.
When it all ended with Sir Salman Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi got involved in another serious relationship with a venture capitalist, Adam Dell (brother of Michael Dell) and was also having an affair with billionaire and former CEO of IMG, Teddy Forstmann. Despite being told by doctors that she would never be able to conceive the traditional way (due to the endometriosis), she found out she was with a child which made a DNA test necessary to prove its paternity since she was with two men. The child – a daughter, born February 20, 2010 – was proven to be Adam Dell’s and she was named Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell.
Body Facts – Height
As a model, the beautiful and gorgeous hottie has the perfect body measurements to suit her career. She has an hourglass shape with the curves all in the right places. Her bra size is 36B while her statistics are 38-27-40 inches (Breast-Waist-Hips). Padma Lakshmi stands at a height of 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) and she weighs 68 kg (150 lbs). She has black hair and her eyes are brown in color.
Other Facts About Padma Lakshmi
At the age of seven, Padma Lakshmi was sexually harassed by her stepfather’s friend.
She suffered a car crash when she was a teenager which affected her pelvis and her right arm. After surgery, the repair left a long scar (about 7-inch long) on her upper arm.
As an entrepreneur, Padma Lakshmi has a jewelry line named “Padma”, and a kitchenware and dinnerware line named “Easy Exotic” and “The Padma Collection” respectively.
Her memoir, Love, Loss and What We Ate, released in 2006 became a New York Times best-seller.