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'Top Chef' star Padma Lakshmi embroiled in custody battle over child


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/26/2011 

Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi is in a custody battle over her child.

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Adam Dell -- the father of Lakshmi's 11-month-old daughter -- filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking full custody of their daughter Krishna after the Top Chef star allegedly severely restricted his ability to spend more time with her, the New York Post reported.

"Adam Dell, above all else, 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," Dell's lawyer Bill Zabel told the Post.

"Mr. Dell has tried his best to avoid going to court, but Ms. Lakshmi has given him no other choice at this time."

Dell reportedly has an existing agreement with Lakshmi which allows him to see Krishna seven hours a week but claims the situation has been complicated by her travel and filming schedule.  According to a Post source, Dell recently had to fly all the way to the Bahamas in order to be able to work around Lakshmi's schedule and spend a few hours with Krishna.

In addition, Lakshmi has reportedly made things difficult for Dell by requiring all custody arrangements go through her lawyers and assistant.

"Adam does not want to take the baby away from her. He hopes this will result in a reasonable co-parenting agreement," a source told the Post.

However Lakshmi's camp is suggesting a desire to get into the spotlight may the primary reason Dell -- a wealthy 41-year-old venture capitalist who is the brother of billionaire Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell -- has gone to court.

"It appears to us that Mr. Dell remains more interested in garnering media attention than working out details to see Krishna or in her welfare," a Lakshmi representative told the Post.

According to the Post, Dell also hopes to be named on Krishna's birth certificate and have his daughter take his surname in addition to Lakshmi's.

Dell and Lakshmi reportedly dated briefly in 2009. She had repeatedly declined to reveal the identity of the child's father while pregnant, but reports that Dell was the father surfaced after Krishna's birth.



(Photo credit Bravo)


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