Padma Lakshmi revealed in her new memoir that she wasn’t aware who the father of her daughter was because she’d been dating two men when she became pregnant.
In “Love, Loss and What We Ate,” Top Chef host Lakshmi says that, at the time, she was dating billionaire IMG CEO Teddy Forstmann and the brother of Dell Computer founder Michael Dell, Adam Dell, People reports. She didn’t know which of them was the father.
Considering that Lakshmi suffered severe endometriosis (the doctors had told her that she would not be able to conceive the “old-fashioned way”), the news of her pregnancy, she said, had “sent a shock through her body.”
Speaking with People, she said, “I was shocked and elated. And then I was like ‘Hold on, wait a minute.'” At the time, she had been dating both Forstmann and Dell but had been honest about her relationships with the two. While she broke up with Dell that February, they had “fallen back together briefly in June.”
When she admitted to Forstmann that he may not be the father of the child, “I saw his face go white, then beet red. It was as if the room could not contain him, or as if his body could not contain his fury at the information he had just received.” Nevertheless, Forstmann supported her completely even when the paternity test confirmed that Dell was in fact the father. Although Lakshmi was prepared that Forstmann would leave her, he went with Lakshmi to her sonogram, and said, “This is all we need to think about. This is all that matters.”
She added that the support offered by Forstmann was “a great example of Teddy’s character.”
“He wasn’t going to leave my side,” she wrote. “Maybe he didn’t know if he could stay in a romantic relationship with me or not. I think neither of us knew what was going to happen but he was resolute in making sure I wasn’t alone. He held my hand and he held it very publicly.”
In her memoir, Lakshmi also writes about her relationship with author Salman Rushdie. As reported by the New York Daily News, she writes that Rushdie was unaffected by her medical condition, because of which having sexual intercourse was difficult for her; he’d even gone on to say that she was a “bad investment,” she said. The author, Lakshmi said in her book, required constant care and feeding, and frequent sex.
The two were married in 2004, but divorced three years later.