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Padma Lakshmi may be best known as a model and the host of Top Chef, but she also launched her own jewelry and kitchenware line.
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The two married five years later. The couple raised eyebrows, both for the discrepancy in their looks (Rushdie is better known for his books such as The Satanic Verses and Midnight's Children than for his attractiveness) and their ages (Lakshmi was nearly 20 years her husband's junior). Rushdie based a character in his 2001 novel Fury on Lakshmi,
to whom the book is dedicated. Lakshmi countered critics who questioned their relationship. "I was a published author and an actress before I met my husband," she said. "I can't help who I fell in love with." The two stayed together for eight years before divorcing in 2007.
After the divorce, Lakshmi published a new cookbook, Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet, and began hosting the popular American reality show Top Chef, where contestants battle it out in the kitchen. She also reconnected with her father, a former Pfizer executive from whom she had been estranged for decades.
Lakshmi has her own line of Indian-inspired jewelry, as well as a line of spices, teas and bakeware. She also has a new project to keep her busy: daughter Krishna, born in February 2010. Though she originally kept the identity of the baby's father a secret, Lakshmi later revealed him to be American venture capitalist Adam Dell. "Everything is better with her around," she said of her daughter. "Anything from the beginning of the day till the end. I don't really have any attention span for anything else than her."
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