After Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie got married in 2004, the problems in their marriage quickly became impossible to ignore. While it was undiagnosed at the time, Lakshmi’s endometriosis left her bedridden with chronic pain and made it difficult for the pair to have sex. According to People Magazine, Rushdie’s constant need for sexual intimacy directly collided with her health. At one point, Rushdie became so angry about this lack of intimacy in their marriage that he called his relationship with Lakshmi a “bad investment.” Even after she was diagnosed with endometriosis and underwent operations to ease her symptoms, Rushdie often left on trips while she was still recovering from these various operations. Per Today, Lakshmi divorced Rushdie just three years after they were married, in 2007.
In 2016, Lakshmi revealed several details about her marriage to Rushdie and relationships with other notable men, including Ted Forstmann, the CEO of the media empire IMG, and venture capitalist Adam Dell, per New York Daily News. Though Lakshmi spoke about many intimate details of their relationship, she claims that she and Rushdie are now friends. “In many ways, I consider him still part of my family,” Lakshmi told People Magazine. “I think if you really fall in love with someone, even if you fall out of love with them, you still must have some little portion, some little imprint, on your heart that can never be extinguished or erased.”