On Aug. 12, Salman was preparing to speak at an event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY, when a male attacker rushed the stage and stabbed him about 12 times in areas such as his face, neck, abdomen and chest, a district attorney’s office spokesperson told NBC News. The author was airlifted to a hospital and the suspect was arrested and charged with attempted murder and assault.
Zafar continued, “We are so grateful to all the audience members who bravely leapt to his defence and administered first aid along with the police and doctors who have cared for him and for the outpouring of love and support from around the world. We ask for continued patience and privacy as the family come together at his bedside to support and help him through this time.”
Padma was Salman’s fourth wife. He was previously married to Zafar’s mother, Clarissa Luard, Elizabeth West—with whom he shares a 23-year-old son, Milan Rushdie, and Marianne Wiggins.
The stabbing suspect, New Jersey man Hadi Matar, has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault.