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Padma Lakshmi’s Baby Daddy Revealed!

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Adam Dell and Padma Lakshmi in February 2009

Adam Dell is the father of Padma Lakshmi’s baby girl, who was born on February 20 in New York City. Till now, Lakshmi has refused to name the man who fathered her child.

“A friend revealed that he dotes on his daughter and wants to see more of her,” reports the Daily Mail. “Another said: ‘They are trying to work it out. They are trying to avoid anything messy.'”

The baby’s name is Krishna Thea Lakshmi.

Dell is a professor of business and technology at Columbia Business School in New York, invests in technology companies and is also a law professor in Texas, reports the Daily Mail.

Read more:

Padma Lakshmi dotes on her new baby.


Written by Asianista

March 18, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Shaun White’s Favorite Food? Chinese!

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Shaun White Rings The NYSE Closing Bell

Olympic gold medalist and snowboarder Shaun White was interviewed on celebrity gossip show The Insider tonight and quizzed about his favorite things.

Favorite food? “Chinese food,” he said.

We are so proud he picked an Asian cuisine. But it’s too bad the interviewer didn’t ask him to name his favorite dishes. What does he like? General Tso’s chicken? Beef broccoli? Fried rice? We want details!

His other favorites:

Favorite musician: Jimmy Page

Favorite TV show: Lost

Reality show he’d most like to be on: MTV’s Jersey Shore.

White revealed he is currently single and that he is attracted to girls who sing or play instruments.

Written by Asianista

March 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Apolo Ohno’s Mother Was Teenager When She Gave Birth to Future Olympian

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The Today Show Gallery of Olympians

The fascination with Olympic short speedskater Apolo Ohno’s estranged mother shows no signs of abating.

The obsession is stoked, in part, because so little is known about her. It’s been reported that her name is Jerrie Lee, she is Caucasian, and she and Apolo’s dad, Yuki Ohno, divorced in 1983 when Apolo was only a year old.

It was unusual for the time, but when the couple divorced, it was the father who got full custody of the son, rather than the mother. This, despite the fact that Yuki owned a hair salon in Seattle, Wash., worked 12-hour days and had little time to take care of a small child. (One Halloween, little Apolo sat in his father’s salon wearing his costume, waiting to be taken trick-or-treating as it got darker and darker, and later and later. His father couldn’t leave; he had to tend to his clients.)

Why did Apolo’s father get custody? Why not his mother? Didn’t she want her baby?

One clue is revealed by a 2002 newspaper article which states that Apolo’s mother was only 18 years old when she married Yuki Ohno, a Japanese immigrant who was 37 years old at the time. When they divorced a year later when Apolo was still a baby, Yuki got custody. Maybe his teenaged mother knew she was ill-equipped to raise a child at the time.

Whatever the reason, it appears Apolo was raised with little or no contact with his mother, and hasn’t talked to her for decades. “After 19 years, it would be strange,” Apolo told the St. Petersburg Times in 2002. “I don’t have any (lost child) hotlines out for her.”

Yuki wants to keep his ex-wife out of the picture. ”There’s no story about her,” Yuki told Sports Illustrated in 2002. “No story. It’s insignificant to what he is now. We’ve got to keep it that way.”

Insignificant? No mother, whether estranged or not, is ever insignificant to a child. She may have had nothing to do with his becoming an Olympian, but as the person who gave birth to Apolo, she cannot be dismissed. Her non-presence has got be a factor in his life. It must affect him in some way that he did not experience a mother’s love while growing up.

As for the mysterious Jerrie Lee, does she watch Apolo on television when he competes in the Olympics? Did she watch several years ago when he won Dancing with the Stars? Does she think, “There is my child.” Or does she change the channel?

Short Track Speed Skating - Day 15

Written by Asianista

February 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Did Kim Yu-Na Have Plastic Surgery?

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Yu-Na Kim

Even before she thrilled the world and gave a gold-medal winning performance at the Winter Olympics, rumors were swirling that South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-Na might have gotten plastic surgery. The 19-year-old athlete appeared too beautiful, too perfect.

Ridiculous websites posted pictures of Yu-Na as a young teenager wearing braces and compared it to current photos of the celebrity athlete — still in her teens — speculating whether she had gone under the knife.

Has Yu-Na gotten plastic surgery? No! It’s called make-up, you morons.

Yu-Na Kim, modeling

Written by Asianista

February 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Who is Padma Lakshmi’s baby daddy?

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Following Indian tradition, Padma Lakshmi gave her newborn baby girl an Indian name: Krishna. But who is Krishna’s daddy?

Padma has never identified the father, telling the New York Post via her publicist that, “She has no interest in sharing with the public the identity of the father. She asks that people respect her privacy.”

Fat chance of that happening! We understand Padma’s need for privacy, but we can’t help it. We want to know! Who fathered your child, Padma?

Adam Dell

Was it Adam Dell, the 40-year-old younger brother of Dell Computer whiz, Michael Dell, whom you dated in and around May 2008? (The pair were spotted at La Esquina restaurant in NYC; he was rubbing her back.)

Or was it Ted Forstmann, the Wall Street tycoon who dated Elizabeth Hurley when she broke up with Hugh Grant in 2000?

The white-haired Forstmann and Padma were spotted attending a Knicks game in Madison Square Garden in NYC in January 2009.

Ted Forstmann

Or was it someone else? A sperm donor perhaps? The mind starts to run wild with the possibilities.

Written by Asianista

February 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Tiger Woods Press Conference – I’m a bad Buddhist and that’s why I had rampant, adulterous sex

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Tiger Woods on February 19, 2010. (AP)

Well, for once it’s refreshing and new to hear a disgraced celebrity cite — not God or Christianity  — as the path to redemption, but Buddhism! That’s what happens when your mother is originally from Thailand and raises you Buddhist.

Tiger Woods, looking bloated, puffy and chipmunk-cheeked, gave a press conference today to address the numerous, scandalous affairs that brought him tumbling down from his pedestal last November and threatened to destroy his career and marriage. Standing before a carefully assembled group of friends, business associates, his mother and hand-picked reporters, Woods admitted, “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated.”

Why he had affairs with all those women: “I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled.”

He was selfish and thought only of himself, admits Woods. His mother, Kultida Punsawad Woods, who is originally from Thailand, was at the conference and hugged her son afterwards. The person glaringly absent from the press conference was Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren. (I could have you told you she wasn’t going to be there.)

The press conference was carefully controlled. Woods’ team only invited a hand-picked small group of reporters from the Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg News. No questions were allowed. Tiger simply read from a statement that was 14 minutes long. (Watch the video and read his entire statement here.)

Woods said that he has had intense therapy (though he wouldn’t specify whether it was for sexual addiction) and is trying to rebuild his marriage and his career. Will he and his wife stay married? That is between them as husband and wife, Woods said.

I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.

One wonders. Who helped Tiger write that speech?

Written by Asianista

February 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Why is Padma Lakshmi naked?

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Padma Lakshmi in Allure Magazine, May issue

I really don’t care to see Padma Lakshmi naked. Especially since she is most well-known for hosting a certain food competition show. (I don’t want to picture naked people and food together.) “I tend to sleep in the nude,” Lakshi tells Allure Magazine (we imagine, in her slurred speech). Now, I guess we get to peek at what Salman Rushdie got to look at for the three years they were married, before she dumped him after getting famous on Top Chef.

Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie when they were married.   Is that why he looks so smug in these photos? Or is that his natural expression?

Written by Asianista

April 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Freida Pinto lands Woody Allen film with Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin and Anthony Hopkins

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Woody Allen and his new muse, Freida Pinto. (Splash News)

Woody Allen and his new muse, Freida Pinto. (Splash News)

Move over Scarlett! There’s a new muse in town, and Woody Allen’s already cast her in his new movie.

Freida Pinto, who told Audrey Magazine back in December that she was reading “loads of scripts” but hadn’t signed onto any projects yet, has decided that her second film role will be playing the ingenue in a new Woody Allen project that is not yet titled. 

With the almighty Hylda Queally from CAA as her agent, Pinto seems to be making her way quite effortlessly (and impressively) through Hollywood.

The new film will begin shooting on location in London in July. Gossipmongers are speculating that the location will keep her close to her Slumdog Millionaire co-star Dev Patel, but he is insisting that they are merely friends

Pinto will co-star in the film with Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin and Anthony Hopkins, reports Variety.

Written by Asianista

February 25, 2009 at 2:06 am

Identity of Sata Masuzawa, Sean Penn’s best friend, revealed

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The first person Sean Penn thanked on Sunday night during his acceptance speech for winning an Oscar for Best Actor was his “best friend, Sato Masuzawa.”  My ears perked up at hearing the distinctly Japanese name. 

“Sean Penn’s best friend is an Asian guy?” I thought to myself. I imagined Sato might be a surfing buddy that Penn grew up with in Los Angeles, or perhaps an old friend from Santa Monica High School. 

Turns out, Sato Masuzawa is a woman and Penn’s long-time assistant. According to IMDb, Sato was the set production assistant on Indian Runner, the movie written and directed by Penn. She is credited with being Penn’s assistant beginning with the 1998 movie, Hurlyburly

Much has been made of the fact that Penn thanked Sato and a host of others during his Oscars acceptance speech, but neglected to thank his wife, Robin Wright Penn. 

That might be much ado about nothing. 

Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn at the Governor's Ball after the Oscars on February 22, 2009.

Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn at the Governor's Ball after the Oscars on February 22, 2009.

Talking with Access Hollywood later that evening, Penn and his wife looked very much in love and happy with eachother. The Penns explained to Nancy O’Dell that they had discussed beforehand that he would not mention his wife in his speech if he won.

Asked if he simply forgot to thank his wife, Penn says, “No, no, no…I was just trying to keep it to the little group that did the professional business on the deal.” (Watch the video here.)

Penn didn’t thank his son or daughter, either. It’s just not his style.

Apparently, Penn’s first wife, Madonna, understands. She called his speech “amazing.”

Written by Asianista

February 24, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Posted in Celebrity, Gossip, News

Freida Pinto’s intimate interview: marriage, dating, and the future

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Freida Pinto appears on the Feb/March issue of Audrey Magazine.

Freida Pinto appears on the Feb/March issue of Audrey Magazine.

By Helena Sung

Now available at your local Barnes & Noble and Borders Books is the February/March issue of Audrey Magazine and my intimate interview with Freida Pinto, star of “Slumdog Millionaire.”

As Pinto’s popularity continues to skyrocket amidst Slumdog Millionaire’s multiple wins this past Sunday at the Oscars, tongues have begun wagging about the 24 year-old Indian beauty’s personal life. Is she secretly married to her college sweetheart? Or merely engaged? Did a budding romance with her 18 year-old co-star, Dev Patel lead her to dump her fiance—by phone?

At the time I interviewed Freida in December 2008, she claimed that she was not getting married until she was 40. Asked if she was dating anyone, Freida declared she had no time to date.   

Read an excerpt from my interview with the star…

It’s three days before Christmas and Freida Pinto is dying to get back to Mumbai, or “Bombay” as she still sometimes refers to her hometown. She is in Los Angeles staying at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills—that favored hotel of visiting celebrities and affluent tourists hoping to spot famous faces in the elevators or lounging at the rooftop pool.

Pinto and I are ensconced in a corner of the nearly empty lobby bar, sitting on overstuffed couches and sipping tea. It’s a chilly Monday afternoon and Pinto keeps a short, dark trench coat wrapped around her black Penguin mini-dress. Her long legs are bare and she’s wearing tall, black peep-toe slingbacks—the same ones she’ll be wearing later that evening when she appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Passing hotel patrons stare at the stunning brunette—wondering who she is, or perhaps recognizing her as Latika from the acclaimed film, Slumdog Millionaire. Pinto doesn’t seem to notice. She’s telling me how much she’s looking forward to going home to Mumbai, where she lives with her parents and older sister, Sharon.

“My mum hasn’t seen me in four months,” the 24 year-old actress laments, speaking with a soft Indian accent washed with British overtones. “I promised her I would be home in time for Christmas.” (Pinto is Catholic.) “Since the Toronto Film Festival in September, I’ve lost count of how many interviews I’ve done. It’s been crazy. I have to get a new passport because mine has been stamped all over. I carry the same suitcase everywhere. Sometimes I don’t even unpack. I’ve been wearing the same clothes for two months now.”

Is that the dress you’ll be wearing on The Tonight Show? I ask. “Oh, no,” she says. “I’ll be wearing a very pretty pink cocktail dress by Marchesa.” Pinto has a stylist from Fox Searchlight Pictures (the film’s U.S. distributor) to help her with wardrobe selections and the procuring of dresses—just one of the perks of being a burgeoning star.

From the moment Slumdog Millionaire premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, audiences and critics have embraced it as an inspiring hit. The film critic Roger Ebert gushed that it was “breathless, exciting, heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time.” Ebert predicted Slumdog Millionaire would win the Audience Award at Toronto and he was right. Since then, the film garnered dozens of top awards from industry groups. (At the time of this article, Academy Award nominations had not yet been announced, but the Oscars buzz surrounding the film had gotten deafening. This past Sunday, Slumdog Millionaire won multiple Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Song, and Best Score.)

Directed by Danny Boyle (with a co-director credit later going to the film’s casting director, Loveleen Tandan), Slumdog Millionaire is a love story shot against the backdrop of Mumbai’s sprawling slums and emerging high rises. British actor Dev Patel plays Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old boy who’s survived the slums to get a respectable, if menial, job serving tea at a call center. Unable to forget Latika, the orphan girl he loved as a child, he continues searching for her despite the obstacles of time, poverty and a menacing older brother. It is the hope that she will see him on television that drives Jamal to get onto the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” (Famed Indian actor, Anil Kapoor, is sublime as the smug, mocking game show host.)

When Jamal answers question after question correctly, bringing him closer to the jackpot of 20 million rupees, he is suspected of cheating. How can a boy from the slums know who is on the American $100 dollar bill? How can an uneducated slumdog correctly name the Indian poet who wrote the lyrics for a classic song?

The police torture and interrogate him. Only then does Jamal reveal the brutal and heartwrenching episodes from his childhood—shown in action-packed flashbacks—that have enabled him to know the answers.

Despite the film’s unflinching images of slum life, viewers hail Slumdog Millionaire as an inspiring rags-to-riches tale—about never giving up, triumphing over your circumstances, and the notion that some things in life are destined. Though Pinto appears briefly early on in the film—a vibrant image of a smiling young woman wearing a yellow blouse—we have to wait a long time to see her again.

Interestingly, the character of Latika did not exist in the Vikas Swarup novel, “Q & A,” from which the Slumdog Millionaire screenplay was adapted. Swarup, who is an Indian diplomat, sends me an email from Pretoria, where he is currently posted as India’s Deputy Ambassador to South Africa. “I think Danny Boyle and the cast and crew have done a superlative job,” he writes. “Freida is a very beautiful woman and she brings just the right amount of intensity to her character.”

“You meet me towards the end of the film, which is why I told Danny [Boyle] I didn’t understand when he told me I would join them for all the presswork. I said I’m barely in the film for twenty, twenty-five minutes at the most,” Pinto recalls. “And he’s like, ‘Freida, Latika’s importance in the film is her absence. If you could see her all the time, then Jamal wouldn’t have gone to all that trouble for you.’”

Her modesty seems genuine. When I tell Pinto that my South Asian friends think she looks like a regular Indian girl (albeit an extremely gorgeous one), rather than a Bollywood star, Pinto nods in agreement. “I think I look like the typical Indian girl,” she says. “There are so many pretty girls back in India. The most beautiful thing is they’re not even aware of it. That is the beauty of their beauty.”

What’s not typical is her name. “I am completely pure Indian,” Pinto insists. “But I come from a Catholic family, which is why we have more English sounding names. My mum loved the name Freida, so she named me Freida. And my surname is Pinto. I really don’t know which part of me is Portuguese because I’m pure Indian, but ages ago when the Portuguese came to India, there were a lot of conversions that took place, so my forefathers’ forefathers’ forefathers were probably Portuguese and Pinto is brought down from those generations.”

She agrees, too, that she doesn’t look like the typical Bollywood star. “I think I’m too thin for the Bollywood industry,” she admits, referring to the legendary Hindi-language film-making industry based in Mumbai. (She’s 5’5½” and weighs 48 kilograms—about 105 pounds.) “But, I’ve always been this thin.”

The future seems bright for Pinto. She’s signed with Hylda Queally, a talent agent at Creative Artists’ Agency, who represents Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Katie Holmes and a cadre of other A-list stars. 

“I saw Slumdog Millionaire and thought it was amazing and a beautifully told story,” Queally says, speaking by telephone from her office in Los Angeles. “Freida was absolutely magnetic in it. It was an amazing first performance from an actor and the depth of emotions she showed. I don’t know her history, so my interest in her was purely from this film. I think she has a huge future.”

Does Queally predict that Pinto will be big? “I don’t have a crystal ball, but I hope she has a long career. I want her to work with the best talent and to put her in the hands of the best directors and provide her with the best opportunities.”

Pinto, meanwhile, continues to marvel at the turn of events. “I don’t think any of us expected anything. I don’t think any of us back then knew what was going to happen to the film, which is what makes it even more worthwhile when it comes to you as a surprise.”

She reveals she had only two expectations of herself. “I wasn’t thinking of recognition to be honest. I was just thinking, ‘I hope Danny Boyle is happy with my performance. I hope I am happy with my performance.’ That was all I was thinking about. I hope I gave it my best and I hope it shows on screen. When the affirmations and accolades come your way, it’s just people’s way of showing they appreciate you, and I’m just so grateful. And it’s so wonderful because you realize it’s that one quiet, honest film that everyone is loving.”

Written by Asianista

February 24, 2009 at 10:37 am