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Intelligencer: February 21-28, 2005

Salman Rushdie defends his Padma, Tom Cruise preaching to his film crew, depression night at Happy Ending, and more.

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It Happens This Week
Crunch time for New York sports: Olympic delegation tours the city (with Paris, London, and Madrid still ahead in 2012 race);
NBA trading deadline offers Isiah last chance to make a move this season (with every team in the division still ahead of the Knicks).
Yoko Ono expected at gala opening of “The Art Show” dealers’ exhibition.
And the usual New York suspects (Miramax, Scorsese) vie for Oscars—cheered on by the usual attendees at Elaine’s.


Salman Rushdie Defends His Padma
Don’t make him get out his baseball bat!
On February 8, Guy Trebay wrote about Salman Rushdie’s wife, Padma Lakshmi, in the Times. In the “Hindu pantheon,” he observed, “Lakshmi is the domestic deity representing wealth and the embodiment of beauty, grace, and charm . . . In the current fashion pantheon, Ms. Lakshmi similarly stands for a love of money and commodity. A burgeoning brand married to a global brand, she has no problem making public an inventory of brands she chooses to wear.” Understandably, her husband was not amused. Witnesses say Rushdie walked up to Trebay at a National Arts Club event three days later and said, “If you ever write mean things about my wife again, I’ll come after you with a baseball bat.” Shaken, Trebay, who was on his way out, left. Of course, many found it ironic that Rushdie was threatening a writer with bodily harm for something he’d published. He didn’t return messages, and Trebay refused to comment. But a fellow attendee would: “She’s an ambitious person with a lot of hustle. I would think by celebrity standards she’s fair game. Have you seen her Website?”
—Jacob Bernstein


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