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Rushdie’s Love Lines

Borrowed from an Italian stallion.


Salman Rushdie, who insists he’s no Lothario (“There’s all this gossip, but it’s all wrong”), says he doesn’t have any great come-ons. “I’ll tell you the best pickup line I’ve ever heard,” he said at a party for his new novel, The Enchantress of Florence, on June 3. “I was at the Vanity Fair Oscars thing, and Zadie Smith and I were talking to Madonna, and this beautiful young guy came up, this tall Italian—wavy hair, gray eyes, kind of snake hips. And he comes up—and this is Madonna, not the easiest mark in the world—looks her in the eye, completely unafraid, and says, ‘You are Italian, no?’ And she completely went for it. She says, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, I reckon so, last time I looked.’ And he says, ‘I can tell.’ After that, all I could do was walk away.” Will the recently single Rushdie try that move to land himself a new wife? No way, he said: “As my 11-year-old boy said to me, ‘Four is enough, Dad.’”

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