I was raped at 16: Padma Lakshmi makes stunning revelation


US television host Padma Lakshmi made a stunning revelation that she was raped at the age of 16. But the 48-year-old top chef host kept it a secret over these years thinking that it was her fault. However, it took her 32 years to speak about her sexual assault.

Padma Lakshmi uses #WhyIDidntReport to speak what wrong happened to her years back.

She said, "On New Year's Eve, just a few months after we first started dating, he raped me. While we were talking, I was so tired that I lay on the bed and fell asleep. 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. 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."

She remained silent over these years because Padma Lakshmi thought that people would blame her for the incident. "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?'"

She said what prompted her to speak her mind out now, "I have been turning that incident over in my head throughout the past week, as two women have come forward to detail accusations against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Christine Blasey Ford said he climbed on her and covered her mouth during an attempted rape when they were both in high school, and Deborah Ramirez said he exposed himself to her when they were in college. 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. On Friday, I tweeted about what had happened to me so many years ago."

Padma Lakshmi wrote in her op-ed, "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. Now, 32 years after my rape, I am stating publicly what happened. I have nothing to gain by talking about this. But we all have a lot to lose if we put a time limit on telling the truth about sexual assault and if we hold on to the codes of silence that for generations have allowed men to hurt women with impunity."