Brief Encounter

Bono was honored for his work fighting AIDS in Africa, but Salman Rushdie and soon-to-be ex-wife Padma Lakshmi stole the spotlight at the after party.

Padma Lakshmi kisses her estranged husband Salman Rushdie

Padma Lakshmi kisses her estranged husband Salman Rushdie.

Photo By Steve Eichner

Bono this week brought his entire family to New York, where he was honored at the Hammerstein Ballroom by Keep a Child Alive for his work fighting AIDS in Africa.

Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys teamed up to sing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," Diddy hung out with Jay-Z and L.A. Reid, and after a two-and-a-half hour concert, guests like Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Iovine and Kerry Washington headed upstairs, where Amy Sacco and a crew had built a replica of Bungalow 8.

"If she tells us to show up, we usually do," said the New York Rangers' Sean Avery, who was one of the many guests Sacco had wrangled. "She came to a game and fell in love with us. I think it's because we can actually stay up as late as her."

But the evening's most dramatic moment was a chance encounter between Salman Rushdie and his soon-to-be ex-wife Padma Lakshmi, who saw him at the after party and threw her arms around him as everyone watched. She held on as if for dear life. He held on too. Lakshmi walked away minutes later, sobbing, as a few friends consoled her. She then returned to Rushdie and they began kissing. They separated again.

"They are not back together," said one person who knows both of them. "But she misses him." It was heartbreaking to watch, and yet it was impossible to take one’s eyes off of.
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