NEW YORK (AP) — Salman Rushdie (SAHL'-mahn ROOSH'-dee) is remembering Margaret Thatcher with the same complicated feelings he had for while she was alive. That means disagreeing with her politics but being grateful for her support when he was forced into hiding in 1989 after Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini (ah-yah-TOH'-lah hoh-MAY'-nee) called for his death.

Rushdie was interviewed Monday morning during a promotional tour for the film adaptation of his prize-winning novel "Midnight's Children." He said Thatcher had "a great life" and that he was saddened by her death.

Politically, he was far to the left of Thatcher and included a character named "Margaret Torture" in "The Satanic Verses." But when that novel led to accusations of anti-Muslim blasphemy and to the Ayatollah's decree, Thatcher's government gave Rushdie round-the-clock protection.

Rushdie said he met Thatcher just once, at a Scotland Yard gathering.