Padma Lakshmi is a global figure. She has been a supermodel and also has worked in the Indian film industry a bit but now is a full time philanthropist and often speaks up on the very pertinent and relevant topic of human rights. She recently wrote an Op-Ed in New York Times recounting her horrific experience of getting raped at 16 in Los Angeles and molested at 7 in India. This account sure is a significant contribution to the #MeToo movement and we applaud Padma Lakshmi for writing about it. She said that this happened while she was working at a mall as a part time sales person and she was charmed by a fellow salesman who was 23. She started dating him soon after and did not suspect anything. She then came one night late from a party with him and he raped her in her sleep. She could not help but get all shaken up as she did not get any support from her family too. Another incident happened way early in her life. She was 7 and was sent to stay with her grandparents in India. An uncle behaved inappropriately with her and again she was hushed up.
Padma Lakshmi was brave enough in admitting that during 1980s there wasn’t awareness as far #MeToo movement was concerned and no one took these things seriously as they should have. She wrote, “When I was 16 years old, I started dating a guy I met at the Puente Hills Mall in a Los Angeles suburb. I worked there after school at the accessories counter at Robinsons-May. He worked at a high-end men’s store. He would come in wearing a gray silk suit and flirt with me. He was in college, and I thought he was charming and handsome. He was 23. When we went out, he would park the car and come in and sit on our couch and talk to my mother. He never brought me home late on a school night. We were intimate to a point, but he knew that I was a virgin and that I was unsure of when I would be ready to have sex. On New Year’s Eve, just a few months after we first started dating, he raped me.”
She also said that she remembered telling him clearly that she did not want to have sex. But he persisted and later even drove her home without any remorse.