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Salman Rushdie Has Been Married 4 Times: Meet The Author’s Ex-Wives, Including Padma Lakshmi

Author Salman Rushdie has loved and lost four times when it comes to marriage. The Indian-born, British residing novelist has definitely had a way with women, including stunning Top Chef host and judge Padma Lakshmi, who was his most recent wife. Keep reading for more details on Salman’s ex-wives.

How Many Times Has Salman Rushdie Been Married?

The Midnight’s Children author has been married four times, starting with his first wife Clarissa Luard in 1976. The pair divorced in 1987.

Who Was Salman Rushdie’s 1st Wife Clarissa Luard?

The pair met at a concert in 1969. She began working as a publicity manager for the London publishing house Paul Elek starting in 1974 while living with the then-unpublished author. A year before the couple’s split, she went to work for literary agents AP Watt. Like Salman, Clarissa worked actively in the arts. She went on to become a literature officer with the Arts Council of England.

Salman and Clarissa had one child, son Zafar, who was born in 1979. She died after a battle with cancer in 1999.

Who Is Salman Rushdie’s 2nd Wife Marianne Wiggins?

Salman married the the American-born author in 1988, on the heels of his divorce from Clarissa. The couple were living in London in 1989 when Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a Fatwa — a decree handed down by an Islamic religious leader — demanding Salman’s assassination for his book, The Satanic Verses, which was deemed blasphemous toward the religion. Marianne went into hiding with Salman, and the two eventually divorced in 1993.

Marianne is an acclaimed writer who won the 1989 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for best novel written by an American woman for her book, John Dollar. In 2003, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Award for Evidence of Things Unseen.

Who Is Salman Rushdie’s 3rd Wife Elizabeth West?

Salman once again married a fellow author, tying the knot with Elizabeth in 1997, who wrote the In the Hills series of books about her experiences living in rural Wales. The two collaborated when she co-edited Salman’s book Mirrorwork: 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997. 

The pair welcomed a son, Milan Rushdie, in 1999. Salman and Elizabeth divorced in 2004, though they had already split, and he was living with his future wife.

Who Is Salman Rushdie’s 4th Wife Padma Lakshmi?

On the heels of his divorce from Elizabeth, Salman immediately tied the knot with Indian-born, American-raised model turned cookbook author Padma, who published Easy Exotic: A Model’s Low-Fat Recipes From Around the World in 1999. Padma rocketed to fame after being named the season 2 host and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef cooking competition in 2006. She is still in the position today. Salman and Padma divorced in 2007 and did not have any children, though the TV personality would go on to welcome a daughter, Krishna, in 2010 with former boyfriend Adam Dell.

Scroll down to see photos of Salman’s ex-wives.