Document Type

Book Chapter


For over two weeks in April 2004, the Melbourne Age carried daily instalments of the latest sex scandal surrounding soccer super-star David Beckham: revelations of affairs with a former employee as well as with an Australian model; the reaction of his equally famous wife, Victoria; the views of a great many 'close' associates of the various parties; and speculations by celebrity-watchers. One day, however, the Beckham spot was given over to another story: 'Rushdie Takes Bride No.4 in Hindi Wedding'. The main point of interest here was the rumour that the actress bride, Padma Lakshmi, would defy Hindi tradition by wearing a white sari. These rumours turned out to be unfounded, as 'the girl from south India bowed to 5000 years of tradition and dressed in dazzling purple' (The Age 2000: 7). There was a photo of the couple, both dressed in cream, and an acknowledgement of their age difference (of 25 years). The Rushdie affair was mentioned in a humorous aside: 'At one point, Rushdie knelt - a posture that even the late Ayatollah Khomeini was unable to achieve with his 1989 fatwa after the publication of The Satanic Verses' (The Age 2000: 7).