This is absolutely heartbreaking. ‘Top Chef’ host, Padma Lakshmi reveals in a new interview that she was sexually assaulted at the age of seven by one of her stepfather’s friends and it continued for years.
Padma Lakshmi is one very brave woman. While promoting her new memoir, Love, Loss And What We Ate, the former model revealed that when she was a young girl, they lived in a two bedroom apartment in Queens, and occasionally her stepfather’s friend would sexually assault her at night. Padma reveals that when she told her mother what was happening, that’s when her life took a very sad and shocking turn.
Padma says that she shared a bed with a friend of her stepfather’s and that this wasn’t considered abnormal since they were “used to living far too many to an apartment in India.” But what wasn’t normal was that this man would sexually assault Padma, who was seven-years-old at the time. “One night, I woke up to his hand in my underpants. He took my hand and placed it inside his briefs. I don’t know how many times it happened before, since I suspect I slept through some incidents,” she told People & EW‘s Jess Cagle. “Once you take a girl’s innocence, you can never get it back. What I remember more is telling my mother what happened and her believing me, and then she and I telling someone else and that person not believing me. And then the next week I was sent to India.”
Padma, who has a six-year-old daughter, Krishna, says that it devastates her to accept that little girls are being abused all over the world. “I think about my daughter’s classmates or my daughter. And it happens. It happens a lot,” she said. “It happens more than we think. It happens to seven out of ten girls or women at some point in some way in their lives.” It’s sadly true. 1 out of every six American women are the victim of an attempted or complete rape in her lifetime, according to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).
HollywoodLifers, although so incredibly heartbreaking, we are so thankful that Padma shared her story.