Padma Lakshmi: I Don’t Parent Alone

11/03/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Britney Joe/Startraks

After welcoming her daughter last year, Padma Lakshmi was faced with raising Krishna Thea on her own; Twenty months later, however, parenting has evolved into a group effort.

“In truth, I am a single mother. But I don’t feel alone at all in parenting my daughter,” the Top Chef host, whose support system includes extended family and friends, tells Yahoo! Shine.

“Krishna has a whole other side of her family who loves her, too. And so Krishna is parented by me, but also by her grandmother and aunts and cousins and uncles and friends.”

Admitting it certainly “takes a village” to raise a child, Lakshmi, 41, is thrilled her daughter is growing up in a diverse environment.

“The more who encompass her, the more different kinds of people who are in Krishna’s life, the better off she is,” she says.

Despite Lakshmi’s success in the spotlight, she maintains a tight circle of trust around her daughter and shields Krishna from the public eye — including Lakshmi’s Twitter followers.

“I never Tweet about my daughter. Never. I just want to be respectful of her privacy,” she explains. “My job as a mom is to know when to open my mouth and when not to.”

Taking her time to regain her body after baby, the first-time mom admits shedding the pregnancy pounds was a long — and difficult! — road.

“I wasn’t like those girls who give birth and are back on the runway,” she shares. “It took me probably six months to gain 45 pounds and I would say it took me double that time to lose it.”

Fortunately, Lakshmi was able to quickly adapt to her new — and “very humbling” — motherhood curves.

“I did learn a new way to dress after I had [Krishna]. I was on the side of every bus in town [for Top Chef]. I was on billboards,” she recalls. “And I was a size 14. And not that being a size 14 is even that big, but it was big for me … I went up 10 dress sizes in six months. I had no idea how to dress. I’d never worn Spanx before!”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 65 comments

Di on

I think it is intersting how Padma did not mention her daughter’s father Adam Dell as one of the people who participates in the parenting process. I remember he filed papers a few months ago to establish paternity and to gain custodial rights. I hope he gets a chance to visit with Krishna.

Maggie on

I also don’t like how Padma seems to pretend Krishna’s father doesn’t exist. It’s very odd. He even tried for sole custody, obviously he’s involved…

I do love her on Top Chef though. I just find the situation strange.

kendrajoi on

ITA with the previous posters. Is the father of her daughter a really bad guy or something? Obviously, Padma and he did not part on good terms, but how does that affect his ability to be a good father? I don’t know the whole story, but she seems to be being really unfair to him.

Micheley on

I think a father figure is so important in any child’s life and if the situation is appropraite and allows for Krishna’s father to be apart of her life I think that would be wonderful.

That being said idk what the situation is, and maybe he isn’t father material, or maybe something more. We don’t know.

I am happy to hear that she has taken the “village” approach. I think one of the best things for a kid is to have as many people behind them as possible.

Sarah K. on

I’m with everyone so far. It’s a little odd that she doesn’t mention Krishna’s other parent considering he tried to gain rights. Maybe there’s something going on that we don’t know about. It would be awful for Krishna to grow up not knowing her father if she doesn’t have to.

Tee on

It does seem odd that she didn’t mention her daughter’s father since it’s obvious he’s trying to take an active roll in her life. That having been said, I really LOVE hearing a celebrity talk about how much help their extended family is. There really is something to be said for the “it takes a village” approach.

jessicad on

She always looks great no matter her size, and I respect her for not posting too much about her daughter.

I’m a single mother also, but I always say the last thing I feel is alone. I’ve had my family and friends supporting me every step of the way!

It’s definitely a little odd that she doesn’t mention the father, but in my experience she probably has a good reason.

Alexa on

She mentions that Krishna has the “whole other side of her family” too. I don’t see how that couldn’t include the father (she may not have wanted or he may not want discussed in the media), it obviously means his family is involved.

At 20 months, the judge wouldn’t necessarily grant 50/50 parenting, so she probably does do a lot of the day to day stuff herself.

Janna on

Again, people supposing they have the slightest idea of what went on with this woman and her baby’s father. Why does all the negativity fall on her? Because of little blips of rumor and innuendo that you read in some gossip rag? Grow up and stop gossiping about something you know nothing about.

MommytoanE on

Janna, I agree with you.

We have no idea what kind of a person this Adam is….outside of the fact that he has money and power. Keep in mind anyone can be a father. It takes someone special to be a daddy. But since we don’t know the full story behind it, I think its wrong to point fingers in her direction.

Mia on

It is strange that she didn’t mention the father-@ all–but maybe it is implied through the “other side of the family”-I think people should remember that having a kid involves 2 people….if you don’t want to deal with them everyday….then maybe you shouldn’t have a child with them.

Cesa on

Padma neglected to mention the father of her child who wanted to establish paternity rights. If he is that awful, why did she sleep with him for such a long time. Oh, I forgot, her clock ticking? He did not want to marry her and this interview gives the public an idea why. It takes a village, a father and mother.

itznia on

I think she is really great mom who protects her daughter so well – but what about that little girl’s dad? Is he not part of her life nd her tight circle of trust? He needs to be unless it is his choice to sta away. Ifind that very weird and I imagine her being a total B to him.

lika on

if you read (and believe, i guess) stories throughout her pregnancy, she CHOSE adam to be the father, and he asked not to be identified; that he would take care of the child and play as active a role as padma wanted.

then she went and “let it slip” that adam is the dad, and so he has begun his fight for at least partial custody.

my guess is, as the old saying goes, that the truth is somewhere in-between. personally, i think that she got what she wanted (her baby) and then thought that there would be no consequences if she broke the deal.

Megan on

Given that she’s trying to respect her daughter’s privacy in these quotes, maybe she’s also respecting that of Adam Dell. He and his family could be a part of that “village” but she chooses not to publicly recognize that. As many others have said, we do not know how often, if at all, Mr. Dell is involved.

lilwrascl on

YEOW… what a pic… Padma looks hot as usual and motherhood appears not to have caused her to look any hotter than she did before…

wish I had a few more zeros added onto my bank account & was old & ugly dude like ex… maybe then I would have a chance…

Sarah K. on

Janna, no one here was unfair to Padma. People said it was odd/strange/interesting (and it is) that the father wasn’t mentioned. BUT, pretty much everyone also agreed that there might be a situation we don’t know about. One person even asked if the father is a bad guy. That’s not exactly a jab at Padma. This comment section actually lacks the usual meanness and assumptions of other posts on this site. In fact, you actually brought the nastiness into this post, so thank you. That was very mature and “grown up.”

At the end of the day, she put this statement out there in the world. If she didn’t want people speculating about her life, maybe she shouldn’t have made a vague public statement about who is raising her child.

KPR on

U&mmmmmmmmmmm… no kidding you aren’t doing it alone! She has a FATHER you idiot. I hate when women don’t look at the BIG picture. Yes … she may NOT like the father or want him in her life. But this isn’t about HER. Come on people … grow up. You got the first 18 years to be a kid and be immature … why must you insist on being an adult child. In every article I have ever read … she sounds like she is totally blocking him out of her life. YUCK …. Krishna is going to want/need her father … just you watch …. again .. why is it NEVER about the child … so sad

Halee on

She can talk as much as she likes about ‘village style’ child rearing.

At the end of the day a kid needs to know he/she has Dad in the picture.

mmh on

I liked the tone of this interview. She mentioned “the other side” of her daughter’s family, which I thought was a nice way to acknowledge the father and his family. And I think having an extended support system for your child — no matter the age, race, sex, etc., — is a beautiful thing.

I grew up with two loving (still-married) parents, but I also had aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, etc., who made me feel so welcome and happy in this world. When so many people are a part of your life and you know you have their love and support, it’s a great feeling. The more people who love my children, look out for them, and support them, the better!!! If you have no extended support system, you are always going to be lost in many ways… I have seen that with my now-estranged husband and it is very sad to me. I love the “it takes a village” mentality!!

Sarah K. on

Janna, I have to take back what I said. KPR proved me so very wrong.

LM on

I agree that Padma probably doesn’t say much about the father because there is history she doesn’t want to share. She seems like a very private person when it comes to her personal life. It’s easy to point fingers at the primary care giver, but she sound like a very good mother.

I also like that she is honest about her weight gain/loss. I think it’s great that Gisele and Miranda, etc can lose all the baby weight right away, but not everyone can. Even celebs.

Wendy on

Apparently there is a custody issue occuring. How sad for that little child!

Rose on

Has the custody case ever been resolved? Does anybody know? I’ve never heard if it was or not.

Tammy on

I’m a solo parent… I do it all on my own. My son’s father has chosen not to be a part of his life for whatever reason. I’d love for my son to have a father and for someone to share in the huge responsibility of properly raising a child. I get so angry at people like her and others who try and keep the other parent away. She’s not doing what’s best for her child. She’s being selfish.

June on

Agreed that no one knows the whole story. But if there is a father who wants to be involved in this child’s life and he is not abusive or otherwise not good for the child, then he has a right to be in her life. This was not an immaculate conception so he was around in the beginning and if there is no legal reason, he should be around now.

S on

I wonder if Padma’s horrible relationship with her own father is why she is denying Krishna’s father any sort of role in her life. That’s unfair, especially as Adam Dell has made it known that he does want to be involved in his daughter’s life. Maybe Padma thinks “well, I didn’t need a father, Krishna doesn’t either.” Who knows, but that decision isn’t hers to make. Her daughter is going to be awfully upset later on in life when she finds out how her mother blocked her father from being part of her life.

Melissa on

Maybe she was respecting his privacy by not mentioning him. Maybe he has requested that he not be mentioned. The only ones that know the story are Padma and the baby’s father.

Kate on

There is something very annoying about her.

Monie on


You don’t know what’s going on in her personal life, so stop assuming. God almighty, focus on the freaking article, and stop speculating on everything she DIDN’T talk about.

And for the ridiculous “I did think it odd…” comments, NO ONE cares what you think. I am SO glad that these celebrities give these interviews, and move on. They don’t linger to read the comments, or hear responses.

Old, ugly, fat, women… Yuck. One can smell the jealousy from miles away. Yuck…

Oh, and for the people who want to respond to this, please go ahead. I won’t come back to read them (I would, but… I just don’t feel like it. It’s Friday, and I just want the day to end so I can go home and start my weekend 🙂 ), but you’re more than welcome to.

Yelling at me might help you feel better about your weight… (You’re welcome)

Anonymous on


she never said that her daughter’s father wasn’t involved. IF anything she implied that his family is somehow involved in the baby’s life, but to what capacity, we will never know.

If she doesn’t want anything to do with him that is her business alone. There are plenty of father figures in a child’s life, for instance, my grandfather was more of a father for me than my real father ever was. The important thing for a child is to have both a female influence in their life as well as a Male influence. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a father/mother. Plenty of children are raised by other family members and they get to experience those parental figures some of you here seem to think this child lacks.

Kids Need Privacy on

I love how she says she NEVER tweets about her kid. I wish more Facebook friends & Twitter users would follow her advice. I’m SICK of reading about other people’s kids…their soccer scores, their birthday parties, their poopy accidents…I didn’t “friend” your kid, I friended YOU! 🙂

KRN on

She only used Dell to get pregnant and then doesn’t want anything to do with him, well, he has rights too, as the biological father. She’s so selfish!

Olivia on

1. What is SAID in an interview and what is QUOTED from an interview are often two competing and different statements.

2. I distrust ANY man/father who files a BASELESS lawsuit for SOLE CUSTODY of an INFANT and holds a PRESS CONFERENCE to discuss what should be a private, family matter.

3. Padma NEVER denied who the father is, but, having a sexual relationship which resulted in pregnancy shouldn’t result in the woman/mom having to face litigation from an EGOTISTICAL man who is starved for LIMELIGHT (ie; press conference on the court house steps) who wasn’t a partner to the woman/mom during pregnancy.

4. It sounds like Padma is doing a wonderful job raising a baby surrounded by family and many friends, including the biological father. She clearly states there ‘is a whole other side of her family’ who loves Krishna, which I have every reason to believe includes the biological father and his family. She also says ‘The more who encompass her, the more different kinds of people who are in Krishna’s life, the better off she is”. I think this is a generous and loving statement giving a nod to the biological dad as he is a different religion than Padma.

suzy diamond on

Is she like 16? Pregnancy is a conscience decision and SHE decided NOT to protect herself! The entire article is stupid. Children should have a mother and a father that’s why there’s a thing called: MARRIAGE! She does her child a DISSERVICE by NOT including the father.

bebi on

Padma had endometriosis, she was very surprised when she discovered she was pregnant.

Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt sometimes.

Kelly on

It’s good she has support and male figures in her daughters life. I love how people just assume that because the father is Adam Dell he must be okay. You don’t know anything about him or their relationship. How do you know he isn’t putting the pr out there so he doesn’t look like a jerk that doesn’t want to be involved with his daughter.

I’m a single mom of two beautiful kids. There father aint around and until my dying breath I wouldn’t let him. He decided to become very abusive and turned on the kids, I of course being a mom got in the way of all that. it might be ideal to have a mom and a dad but not everyone should be a mom or dad. Since they aren’t in a relationship you don’t know if he does see them or not. Don’t just assume you know what’s going on or be juvenile to cut other people down.

Lena on

Where is the child’s father in all of this? Extended family is good but a Dad is great. I know he was interested in being part of the baby’s life, I hope he is getting that opportunity (and the baby to). I don’t like women who separate a child from it’s father unless there is a real true reason for it that involves the law. Can you say Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn – big mistake!

Christine on

It’s unfortunate that a parent can’t simply make a statement that she and extended family and friends are raising her daughter without receiving such intense backlash. I would have agreed with the thought that she purposely was nasty toward the father if she was making disaparaging remarks about him personally throughout the article, but she didn’t.

No one but the mother and father know why their relationship didn’t work so it’s pretty lame for anyone to say she was selfish or only used the father as a sperm bank. Unless any of the people making those immature and baseless comments knows the mother and father personally and was there to view their entire relationship from start to the ending of it, it’s just gossip.

kendrajoi on

Monie must have a weekend pass from the psychiatric institution. Mental problem, much? Everyone’s having a relatively civil conversation, oops, gotta add the psycho troll. Don’t be late on Monday or the men in white suits with the straight jacket might come looking for you. Also, take your meds, you’re obviously off of them.

anon on

I don’t like her…just on the fact of how she treats the father of THEIR child. Single parent??? Get real lady, not hardly!! She has a dad BUT YOU KEEP HER FROM HIM…NICE PARENTING SKILLS. You need help lady, this man has always wanted to be a dad, not just a doner. You should have went to a sperm bank if you wanted that. Your selfish and you don’t deserve that child. Remember Karma!

annlynn on

Wow what a passive agressive slam at the baby’s daddy. It has been reported that she has actively tried to diminish Mr. Dell’s role in the baby’s. Boo to People to helping her agenda.

Just me on

Geez, do ANY of you know her PERSONALLY? Quit judging. No one knows her situation intimately, so quit bashing. I’m just glad she’s not selling out her child to make a quick tabloid buck (like MOST celebs do these days). It’s so easy for some of you to judge while hiding behind your keyboards. Judging someone without knowing facts makes a pretty nasty person. Glad I have more character than you cyber bullies. And I pray to GOD, you don’t breed!

IK on

She wanted a sperm donor and she got it.

Erica on

I agree with Monie, we shouldn’t be assuming we know such things. From what I heard, he didn’t even want to be involved when she first told him she was expecting and I guess know that she’s all famous now he wants to be a part of her life?

shiley on

Adam Dell this, Adam Dell that…. I’m just trying to figure out what 10 sizes less than being a size 14 is?

Somebody, help me out… does this number even exist? If it does, she must’ve been scary skinny before the baby. Yikes.

just wondering on

Went up ten dress sizes to a 14? Women’s dress sizes are counted in even numbers, so counting back from 14 would mean she started at a size -6? Ha! Ha! Come on now.

Sus on

It takes TWO to make a baby. The Father should have just as many rights as the Mother, sorry.

Anonymous on

bebi- Exactly! I have never understood why people just gloss over that! It’s pretty obvious from what Padma’s said that she didn’t think pregnancy was in the cards for her due to her endometriosis, and that Krishna was pretty much a miracle. In otherwords, it’s pretty doubtful that she slept with Adam just so she could have a child!

Olivia- I didn’t think much of Mr. Dell when I heard that he was filing for sole custody, either. However, in his defense, the article about the custody fight this post links to, it explains that Mr. Dell HAD to file for sole custody because New York (which is where he filed, I’m assuming because that’s where he lives) law prohibts judges from granting joint custody. The article also explains that he was hoping to end up with a shared custody agreement. In otherwords, it sounds like he would have filed for joint custody if he could…but our lovely government wouldn’t allow it (I’m being sarcastic with the “lovely” btw!)!

Anonymous on

I’d also like to say that I agree with everyone who has said that we really don’t know what the situation between Padma and Adam is. Sadly, it isn’t always in a child’s best interests for them to be around one or even both of their parents. Adam could be abusive towards Krishna for all we know, or he could want shared custody of her for the wrong reasons (Padma’s fame and money as someone else mentioned). Or he might be neglectful of her when she’s in his care.

He could also be a perfectly nice guy who just wants to spend more time with his daughter. The point is that, at the end of the day, WE DON’T KNOW! In my opinion, it’s pretty silly to make assumptions about something we know next to nothing about!

soph on

Oh Monie, your childish insults are unimpressive. Not coming back, how typical. Hopefully you’ve had some time to calm down…

willow on

wow Padma, size 14? you blimp. PLEEZ you must be about 7 feet tall and last time I saw you on Top Chef I thought to myself…”someone make that woman a sandwich”

R.V. on

I find it strange that a 41 year old woman, who is not married, didn’t know who the father of her baby was cuz she had had sex with different men, and then has to do a DNA test to figure out who the father is of her unborn child, is very very very selfish.

The woman is denying the real father of her child to be involved with the baby’s life. She denied him on the child’s birth certificate, the baby’s last name, everything. Like Get a grip woman!! You couldn’t create the baby on your own, you are not he Virgin Mary! Stop being so selfish and share your child not only with its father, but its other side of the family too. Eventually the child will grow up and will want to know why its Whorish mother denied the child its’ father.

Elizabeth Parker on

There are people in this world, men AND women, who are not suited to parenting for diverse reasons. My firstborn is a wonderful child who has grown into a wonderful young person who had basically no contact with a manipulative and dangerous man who is the father.

Don’t even THINK that you can know the horrors of an abusive spouse/partner if you have never lived with one. They are frequently charming liars for the public, and nightmares in the home. Maybe it’s her, but maybe it’s him, and one thing is for sure. YOU don’t know. So stop judging. Get off the computer and go parent your own kids instead of judging how she is parenting hers.

Kim on

Ladies, lets not forget the MEN…our children need their fathers. Its so sad how men are so easily forgotten. Children NEED their FATHERS…a father cannot be replaced by family members. If he wants to father his daughter for goodness sakes “LET HIM!!”

Katie on

I remember reading that she didn’t want his money or him around to help out with the baby, maybe they are still fighting over that? Not sure, don’t care either that’s their business. Kudos for her to doing the best she can.

I am a single mother and have been since I was 5 months pregnant and have my family as well who have been supportive and my son is almost 5 years old now. And I’ve supported him on my own, gone to school, and now going for my Master’s in IT. You can do it and she already was a successful chef so.. gratz to her and hopefully the dad is responsible enough and wants to be in his daugheter’s life and if not he doesn’t know what he is missing!

Anonymous on

Elizabeth Parker- Thank you for saying what you did about the way abusers act in public versus how they act at home. The way those people often act in public (charming and like they couldn’t hurt a fly) is, sadly, a big part of the reason why abuse isn’t taken as seriously as (in my opinion, anyway) it should be. People simply refuse to believe that what they percieve to be such a sweet, loving person could, in fact, be hurting their spouse and/or children behind closed doors.

Therefore, they often end up believing the abuser rather than the abusee. It sickens me to have to say that I have actually seen and known of situations where that’s happened.

Another common misconception (no pun intended!) that people have about abusive fathers or husbands is that somehow the woman is at fault because she slept with the guy and/or that the guy can’t be that horrible if the wife/mother slept with him. The fact of the matter is, most women in abusive relationships are either scared to leave and/or their abuser has convinced them that they couldn’t surive without him. Also, just because a woman sleeps with an abusive man doesn’t mean it was consensual.

Having said that, I’m not in any way saying that Adam is an abuser. All I’m saying is that just because someone seems like a nice person doesn’t neccesarily mean that they are, and that there could be far more to the Padma/Adam/Krishna story than we will ever be aware of.

Okay, off the soap box and done with this thread!

Tango on

Oh Come on! This article is so biased. Adamm O’Dell the father participates in the raising of his daughter and also Padma’s sugar daddy.

Honoree Corder on

I hardly mention my daughter’s biological father because it’s not my place to discuss him. Padma has probably moved on and co-parents as best she can, but in no way feels as though she needs to discuss that in an article.

Honoree Corder
Author, The Successful Single Mom book series


Please.. She left Salman Rustie and all of a sudden became pregnant by Adam Dell, but was in a relationship with a Billionaire. Classy..

She badmouthed Dell to the Press so he tried to get access to his baby. Golddigger is too much of a good word for her.

soph on

Lol, is no one buying this series and that’s why you need to sign your posts?

Liz on

Padma was told she couldn’t have kıds so I don’t think she planned to conceive. When she got pregnant, she felt lucky and had the baby. Probably, she never saw Adam as a permenantt figure in her own life before the baby. I get that. But I also think that if you feel comfortable enough to sleep with a man and again feel comfortable enough to have his child, you have no right to deny that man the right to be a part of his own child’s life. Adam is a good businessman, who occasionally teaches at universities. Up to this point, there has been no bad publicity about him. As for Padma’s case, I don’t think the problem is abuse. She thought she was only having fun with this guy, and he accidentally ended up being her baby’s father.

If she wanted to be a single parent, she should have gone to a sperm bank in the first place. Saying you have friends and family helping you raise your child is disrespectful when you don’t mention your child’s dad. He wants to be involved and he will be a part of Krishna’s life soon if he isn’t already a part of it. She should get over with it and be more respectful.

Sarah K. on

Honoree, not mentioning Adam because it’s not her place would make more sense if Padma wasn’t talking about who parents her Krishna. It’s not intrusive on Adam’s life to say that he co-parents. We all know who he is at this point.

Shannon on

When will these baby mamas learn that a child need both parents? She acts like she’s the only one who has a right to parent and love the child. So sad.

meghan on


i cannot believe so many people are so butt hurt about the fact the dad isnt in the kids life. it is 2010 almost 2011, this happens on a daily basis. people need to realize that the mom is clearly keeping her daughter away for a reason. respect that, and raise your kids the way you would want to be raised. keep ur noise out of peoples business!