Padma Lakshmi Called Paternity Speculation During Pregnancy 'Mortifying'

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Padma Lakshmi opened up about what it was like seeing speculation about her pregnancy “splashed all over the newspapers” around the globe

In today’s edition of both “can we please just let women live?” and “stop speculating about people when they’re pregnant,” Padma Lakshmi is opening up about what it was like to see media speculation about the father of her unborn baby when she was pregnant with her daughter, Krishna Thea, back in 2010.

At the time she was preparing to welcome Krishna, now 11, the TV host had recently broken up with venture capitalist Adam Dell, two years after getting a divorce from novelist Salman Rushdie. But it seems media outlets were in a frenzy trying to figure out the paternity of Lakshmi’s soon-to-be newborn baby girl, a time-honored tradition steeped in misogyny that has plagued plenty of famous women over the years, including Mad Men alum January Jones and Mindy Kaling, among others.

Now, in an interview on People‘s Me Becoming Mom podcast, Lakshmi is sharing how “mortifying” it felt for her to endure that treatment in the press while she was gearing up to become a mom, something she says she “always wanted,” adding, “I was sort of between relationships without going into the specifics. It definitely complicated the situation, and as we know, our society is a patriarchal society, so I knew that it was not the ideal way, obviously, to be in the situation I was in.”

The endometriosis activist didn’t let public scrutiny impact how “happy” she felt to be welcoming her first baby, noting, “I was just happy. That stuff was certainly there. It was in the background, it was always like a white noise presence. It certainly was icky when the press started snooping around in various countries — not just America, but in India, England, Australia. At that time, it was splashed all over the newspapers and it was mortifying.”

“But on the other hand, it was inconsequential because the main event was that I was going to be a mom,” she continued.

Now it seems she and Dell are doing great co-parenting Krishna together, but her story no doubt serves as yet another reminder that even seemingly harmless gossip can be deeply painful to those who are on the other end of it. It’s long past time to quit such speculation and allow people in the public eye to keep things private if they so choose to.