Padma Lakshmi Details "Excruciating" Rape, Explains Long-Term Silence

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Yes, Padma Lakshmi, her too.

In a personal and harrowing essay for The New York Times on Tuesday, the long-time model and television host went into detail about getting raped at the age of 16.

Having first come forward about this trauma on Twitter as part of the #WhyIDidntReport movement, Lakshmi also wrote about her decision to remain silent over the years.

Padma Lakshmi in Red Dress

I Was Raped at 16 and I Kept Silent, reads the headline to Lakshmi's op-ed.

"The two of us had gone to a couple of parties. Afterward, we went to his apartment. While we were talking, I was so tired that I lay on the bed and fell asleep," she wrote of the sexual assault, which took place on New Year's Eve.

"The next thing I remember is waking up to a very sharp stabbing pain like a knife blade between my legs.

"He was on top of me. I asked, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'It will only hurt for a while.' 'Please don’t do this,' I screamed."

Continued Lakshmi:

"The pain was excruciating, and as he continued, my tears felt like fear. Afterward, he said, 'I thought it would hurt less if you were asleep.' Then he drove me home."

Padma Lakshmi at Pre-Emmy Party

Lakshmi does not name the perpetrator.

She says he was 23 years old at the time and in college.

She adds that the two at the Puente Hills Mall in a Los Angeles suburb, where she worked after school at Robinsons-May and he worked at a high-end men's store.

According to Lakshmi, the rapist acted like a regular guy, a gentleman even... before he forcibly took her virginity without her consent.

However, she had a larger point to make by going public with this painful memory.

As a victim of sexual assault, she comprehends why the women accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of the same crime didn't come forward decades ago.

(The President Tweeted at Dr. Christine Blasey Ford last week and basically asked her why she didn't go to authorities when her alleged attempted rape took place.)

Padma Lakshmi at 2018 Emmys

"On Friday, President Trump tweeted that if what Dr. Ford said was true, she would have filed a police report years ago," she wrote in the Times, continuing:

"But I understand why both women would keep this information to themselves for so many years, without involving the police. For years, I did the same thing."

After she was assaulted, Lakshmi explained that she tried to forget it ever happened rather than report it.

"I didn’t report it. Not to my mother, not to my friends and certainly not to the police. At first I was in shock.

"That evening, I let my mother know when I was home, then went to sleep, hoping to forget that night."

"Soon I began to feel that it was my fault," she continued.

"We had no language in the 1980s for date rape. I imagined that adults would say: 'What the hell were you doing in his apartment?

"Why were you dating someone so much older?' I don’t think I classified it as rape -- or even sex -- in my head."

Padma Lakshmi at the BMAs

Elsewhere, Lakshmi said decision not to come forward, came from a previous trauma.

She had mentioned this before on Twitter as well.

"When I was 7 years old, my stepfather’s relative touched me between my legs and put my hand on his erect penis," she wrote in the op-ed.

"Shortly after I told my mother and stepfather, they sent me to India for a year to live with my grandparents. The lesson was: If you speak up, you will be cast out."

We're sadly guessing that an endless array of women out there know exactly where Lakshmi is coming from here.

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Padma Lakshmi Biography

Padma Lakshmi Pic
Padma Lakshmi is the host of Top Chef on Bravo. She's an Indian American cookbook author, actress, and former model. Lakshmi has posed... More »
Full Name
Padma Parvati Lakshmi