Padma Lakshmi Went Into Hiding After Detailing Rape and Molestation Ordeals
Artful Living Magazine/ John Kernick
Celebrity

The 'Top Chef' host reveals in a new interview she didn't dare to leave her home for days after opening up on the sexual assaults she suffered when she was young.

AceShowbiz - Padma Lakshmi didn't leave her home for days after writing an op-ed revealing how she was raped at the age of 16.

In the editorial for the New York Times, written in 2018 in response to the sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Lakshmi revealed that she was a virgin when she was raped by her then 23-year-old boyfriend. The "Top Chef" host also shared she was molested by her stepfather's relative when she was seven.

And in a cover interview for Artful Living, the 49-year-old admitted "it was scary" initially to have people approach with their own stories of sexual assault after the article was published.

"I didn't go out for three days after I wrote the article," she told the publication. "Kavanaugh's hearings were really triggering, which is what made me write the piece in the first place. But when I did go out, I walked literally half a block to my gym and people were coming up to me, even coming into the gym."

She continued, "It was jarring, and I felt like crying because it made it real." She explained, "Up until then, I hadn't really left my home. I could look at it online, but I wasn't going online. It was very difficult emotionally."

Lakshmi compared sharing her "devastating" trauma with the world to ripping off "a 32-year-old Band-Aid."

"Then after a while, it got easier and easier. I don't regret writing that piece. It was a very healing moment for me to be able to say out loud something that I had never even said to my own mother."

The star said she was inspired to share her story during Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings after U.S. President Donald Trump questioned Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her when they were both in high school in 1982, for not coming forward earlier.

Lakshmi, who never reported her own assault, sympathised with Dr. Ford, pointing out that survivors who do speak out about powerful men, "wind up being traumatized all over again."

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