Rushdie weds for the third time

Salman Rushdie (pictured) was last night reported to be on honeymoon in the United States after secretly marrying his girlfriend of the past three years.

The 50-year-old novelist invited only a few close friends and business associates to his third marriage ceremony, which took place amid tight security on Thursday at The Hamptons, on Long Island, near New York.

Mr Rushdie and his partner, who has never been identified, wanted a "quiet" wedding and guests were sworn to secrecy, according to a publishing associate. Bill Buford, literary editor of the New Yorker magazine and Andrew Wylie, Mr Rushdie's agent, are understood to have attended.

The decision to wed comes two months after reports that Mr Rushdie's girlfriend had given birth to a child. Mr Rushdie's first marriage to Clarissa Luard produced a son, Zafar, now 18, who speaks regularly with his father. However, his marriage to the American author Marianne Wiggins, in 1987, ended in a blaze of publicity in 1993. She declared: "All of those who love him wish that the man had been as great as the event. He is not." Mr Rushdie later described the union as "the worst mistake I ever made."