Monday 11 December 2017

Odd couple? Nigella Lawson and Salman Rushdie pictured embracing in London street

Sources close to the pair say that the pictures, taken after a meal at a London restaurant, show nothing more than 'two friends saying goodbye'

Nigella Lawson, inset, Salman Rushdie
Nigella Lawson, inset, Salman Rushdie
Sir Salman Rushdie

Patrick Foster

Friends of Nigella Lawson and Salman Rushdie have dismissed speculation about a romantic relationship, after pictures emerged that appeared to show the pair embracing outside a London restaurant.

Lawson, 56, and Sir Salman, 68, have been friends for more than twenty years, and the writer is said to have helped support the celebrity chef during her split from Charles Saatchi, in 2013.

The pair were famously pictured dancing together in 1995, when Sir Salman was still living in hiding, as a result of the fatwa placed upon him by Ayatollah Khomeini. They have been photographed dining together on a number of occasions in the past few years.

 New pictures have emerged showing Lawson with her hands upon Sir Salman’s shoulders, and appearing to kiss the writer, as the pair stood on a London street. The Daily Mail reported that the couple had dined earlier at Locanda Locatelli, a restaurant in West London.

Salman split from his third wife, the model and actress Padma Lakshmi, in 2007, after three years of marriage. Lakshmi has since written an unflattering portrait of the couple’s time together, accusing the writer of calling her a “bad investment”, on account of her endometriosis, a painful condition that affected their sex life.

Friends dismissed the suggestion that the images showed anything amorous. A friend of Lawson said: “This was just two friends having dinner and saying goodbye as they parted at the end of the evening.”

Telegraph.co.uk

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