Author Salman Rushdie on Ventilator and Will Likely Lose an Eye After Onstage Stabbing

Padma Lakshmi's ex-husband Salman Rushdie is on a ventilator, his agent shared, after police said he was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen while onstage.

By Lindsay Weinberg Aug 13, 2022 1:12 AMTags
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Details about Salman Rushdie's condition have been revealed after he was stabbed onstage

The author's agent, Andrew Wylie, told The New York Times on Aug. 12 that Rushdie was on a ventilator and could not speak.

"The news is not good," the agent said. "Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged."

Rushdie, 75, took to the stage at an event for the Chautauqua Institution in New York on Aug. 12. Soon after he arrived, a 24-year-old man allegedly jumped on stage and stabbed the novelist at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen, according to Major Eugene J. Staniszewski of the New York State Police, who spoke at a press conference on Aug. 12. 

Several staff and audience members got the suspect onto the ground and a trooper took him into custody, police said.

Rushdie, who was married to Padma Lakshmi from 2004 to 2007, was airlifted to a trauma center and underwent surgery, per police.

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They added that no motive was known at the time and the investigation is ongoing. 

The event's moderator Ralph Henry Reese was also onstage at the time, per the Times, which reports that he injured his face in the attack and left the hospital on Aug. 12.

Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Chautauqua Institution released a statement on the incident, asking for prayers and patience "as we fully focus on coordinating and cooperating with police officials following a tragic incident at the Amphitheater today." 

E! News has reached out to Rushdie's rep for comment but hasn't heard back.

He is the award-winning author of several works of fiction, starting with Grimus in 1975 and including 1988's The Satanic Verses. His most recent novel was 2019's Quichotte

His book Midnight's Children was adapted into a film by director Deepa Mehta in 2012. His other film projects include cameos on Bridget Jones's Diary and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Per his website, Rushdie previously served as President of PEN American Center and as the Chairman of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival, and is a Fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature.

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