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Rushdie, a complicated man: Padma

The India-born wife of celebrated author Salman Rushdie, says her hubby is "much more complicated" than her.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 19:10 IST

Padma Lakshmi, the India-born wife of celebrated author Salman Rushdie, says while she is very banal, her husband is "much more complicated".

In London for her British acting debut in ITV's Sharpe's Challenge, she offered a rare glimpse into the celebrity marriage.

"I'm very banal," the 35-year-old told the Times, talking of her love for food and clothes. "My husband is much more complicated.                                  

"There's nothing useful about being married to him though. I think it works against me.

"I do have it easy in that I can take business class instead of coach (economy), but I would have that if I was married to anybody," she was quoted as saying.

"I just want people to see me for my work and not as somebody's wife. In fact, I'd have to be really dumb to think that being with a writer was going to help with an acting career.

"I live in America. They don't give a shit about that stuff."

Rushdie shifted his base to Manhattan in the 1990s, though he along with his wife and Milan, an eight-year-old son from his third marriage, spend about four months a year in London.

Answering the oft-repeated question, what made her choose the author as life partner, she said: "I think that people make the mistake of thinking women are attracted to money and success, but what we're really attracted to is men who've done something interesting."

However, her idea of happiness seems at odds with her husband's.

"I'm really happiest when I'm playing rap music at my basement and doing something with my hands. I even bedazzled these jeans," she said, referring to rhinestones attached to her denims. "It took me over 15 hours!"

Padma Lakshmi also enjoys the company of her stepson. "We have violent pillow fights. My husband gets really mad. He'd be like, 'Don't wind him up before bed, don't shake him like that'. It's fun."

She is also relieved that the Iranian government in 1998 eased a fatwa  issued against her husband's life in 1989 and that security is "not an issue" any more.

"We live just as any other normal people live. We try to keep discreet but thank god it's okay now. In New York, we take the subway".

Born in Chennai, Padma Lakshmi has an arts degree from the US liberal college Clark and was a TV anchor in Spain before marrying Rushdie in the late 1990s.