The 48-year-old star's piece for the publication was published on Tuesday, September 25, and detailed how the "Top Chef" host and model was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 23-year-old man she was dating.
Padma explained that the pair met through both working at different stores in the Puente Hills Mall in Los Angeles. It was after a few months of dating that Padma alleges the man, who she said knew she was a virgin, raped her, on New Year's Eve. After heading to several parties with him, Padma went back to his apartment and fell asleep on his bed.
"The next thing I remember is waking up to a very sharp stabbing pain like a knife blade between my legs," she continued. "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."
"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."
Following the alleged incident, Padma made a conscious decision not to tell her mother or friends, as well as opting against reporting it to the police. She added in the op-ed that a previous incident had made her wary about telling the truth about such situations.
"When I think about it now, I realize that by the time of this rape, I had already absorbed certain lessons," she mused. "When I was seven years old, my stepfather's relative touched me between my legs and put my hand on his erect penis. 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."
Revealing it took a long time before she even opened up about the rape to her therapist, Padma admitted it had "affected me and my ability to trust."
"Some say a man shouldn't pay a price for an act he committed as a teenager. But the woman pays the price for the rest of her life, and so do the people who love her," she concluded. "Looking back, I now think I let my rapist off the hook and I let my 16-year-old self down."