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Salman Rushdie recounts his nine years of hiding

Written on:September 18, 2023
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Controversial novelist Salman Rushdie calls his protection officers “absurdly sexy”

Sir Salman Rushdie, the novelist who has been hiding for nine years, following an international uproar caused by the publication of his book ‘The Satanic Verses’, recounts his years in hiding by claiming that Scotland Yard has had the most “glamourous” job while guarding him with “absurdly sexy” protection officers and building his fan base at parties.

Currently on a promotion spree of his memoir, ‘Joseph Anton’, the novelist spent over a decade under police protection after being sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian leader, in 1989.

As he relocated to different places over the years, special branch officers accompanied him wherever he went, in what was called one of the most expensive and most elaborate operations of its kind ever undertaken by Britain.

During an interview with Radio Times, Sir Salman Rushdie said that the British authorities made a mistake by sending him into hiding but claimed that Scotland Yard’s top officers did not think him worthy of ‘overt protection.’ Hence, he had to discontinue to live a normal life with a visible security team, on the lines of Prime Ministers, royals and dignitaries.

Recollecting his hiding times, Rushdie said, “I think I made a mistake by agreeing not to go home that first night. When you’ve got a house, you should be allowed to live in it. I think the reason I fell into the error was that we all believed it would be over in a few days.”

“The policemen were all very handsome, fit, armed and absurdly sexy. I noticed sometimes when I would walk into a room containing members of the British book world that the girls were all looking over my shoulder, checking where ‘the boys’ were”, he said wittily.

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