US television host Padma Lakshmi’s op-ed in the New York Times was not only a way for her to speak her truth, but it was also a way for others to realize the truth about their own actions.
The “Top Chef” host, 48, spoke at the Open Endoscopy Forum on Friday – just three days after she wrote a powerful piece for the Times in which she revealed she was raped by her 23-year-old boyfriend when she was 16.
Speaking at the forum held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lakshmi told the audience that she had one woman approach her to tell the host how she was personally impacted by the op-ed, reports people.com.
“There was this woman that came up to me and said, ‘I read your piece and I wanna thank you and it was really moving,'” she recalls of her interaction.
The woman then went on to explain that she received “an email from someone I haven’t seen since high school, and it was the boy who assaulted me. And he sent me the link to the article and he said, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t know then what I know now and I shouldn’t have ever done that to you. And I apologize.”
While Padma Lakshmi explained that the past week has been a whirlwind and difficult to process, she has no regrets at sharing her story.
“I’m very glad I did it,” she said, reports people.com.
“The stories women and men have shared with me have become some of the most moving things I have read, felt, discussed in my life.”
“I had a family write to me yesterday morning about their daughter who was raped last week on campus. And she went to campus police and did all of the things you need to do: rape kit, examined. And then her father wrote to me because he said she was having second thoughts about pressing charges. I don’t blame her and I don’t think anybody can blame her. It certainly underlined the truth,” she added.
Lakshmi also told the audience on Friday that she felt compelled to write the op-ed in light of the inquiry into the sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, calling it “an emergency situation.”