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Top Chef: Details on Padma Lakshmi’s Custody Battle

January 31, 2011 08:00 AM by Shayla Perry

More details have been released about Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s public custody battle with venture capitalist, Adam Dell, over their 11-month-old daughter, Krishna Thea. Keep reading for the inside scoop on why Dell is suing the Bravo reality star for full custody.

Padma Lakshmi began dating Adam Dell (the brother of Michael Dell, who owns Dell, Inc.– as in the computers) in November of 2007, and the two were “sexually intimate” through the summer of 2009, when, according to court documents, Lakshmi “withdrew emotionally,” and “began to attack [Adam Dell] verbally with gratuitous insults.”

“Among other things, she told him she found him to be an ‘unambitious’ man with an ‘uninteresting’ career and equally ‘unmemorable’ friends,” the suit alleges.

Dell says that later, Lakshmi explained that her moodiness was due to the fact that she was pregnant, and that she was hoping he wasn’t the father of the child. Lakshmi also told Dell that she was “sexually involved with [financier] Ted Forstmann as well as with petitioner during the time she got pregnant,” and “made clear to petitioner her hope that Forstmann was the child’s biological father.”

On February 22, 2010, Krishna Thea was born, and three days later, Padma Lakshmi had her lawyers contact Dell’s attorney to tell him that she wanted “no contact with [him] whatsoever.”

According to court papers filed by venture capitalist Adam Dell and his attorney, Padma Lakshmi repeatedly taunted and insulted him, telling him that she hoped he wasn’t the father of her daughter, 11-month-old Krishna Thea. Dell also charges that he was banned from the hospital when the baby was born, even after a paternity test proved that he was, in fact, her father. Though Dell admits that Lakshmi did allow him to see the baby the day after she was born, he was not permitted to take pictures of her.

Dell later found out that his name was left off the baby’s birth certificate altogether, and that the Top Chef host had “unilaterally declared ‘Lakshmi’ to be Krishna’s family name, made no reference at all to ‘Dell,’” and ” referenced Forstmann ceremonially via the middle name ‘Thea,’ the feminine form of Forstmann’s first name, Theodore.”

Adam Dell says that Lakshmi practically forced him to sign a restrictive temporary visitation agreement, allowing him only a few hours a week with Krishna, and claims that Padma has her refer to Forstmann as “Papa.”

It’s no secret that Ted Forstmann and Adam Dell don’t exactly get along, and it’s been alleged that Forstmann had hoped that Dell would “f–cking disappear,” but it doesn’t look as though he’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.

Not only is Dell suing for full custody of 11-month-old Krishna Thea, but he’s also attempting to have the tot’s name changed, and to have his name added to her birth certificate.

Dell insists that he is able to give Krishna a more stable home than Padma Lakshmi, who often takes the child with her when traveling for work, and says that he was forced to go the Bahamas to visit his daughter earlier this month.

A source close to the Top Chef host said that Lakshmi was surprised that Dell made no effort to keep the custody dispute private, and that his actions were “irresponsible.”

“It appears that Mr. Dell remains more interested in garnering media attention than working out details to see Krishna or in her welfare,” said Padma Lakshmi’s rep.

But according to Adam Dell’s lawyer, Bill Zabel (who took the time to speak to Page Six), his client just “wants to have an active and substantial role in the upbringing of his daughter with Padma Lakshmi. Unfortunately, Ms. Lakshmi has severely limited his time with their daughter and has refused to negotiate a reasonable co-parenting agreement. Mr. Dell has tried his best to avoid going to court, but Ms. Lakshmi has given him no other choice at this time.”

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Photo credit: BRAVO

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Top Chef |

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