Nigella Lawson’s husband choked her in public & there are photos

Nigella Lawson

This story is rather shocking, and even though Nigella Lawson (a UK-based celebrity chef and host of her own programme, “Nigella Bites”) isn’t that well known stateside, this tale is well worth covering because it’s bringing attention to the issue of domestic violence, which still carries a stigma and is generally only discussed behind closed doors. In a very public setting, however, Nigella was choked by her husband of nearly ten years, Charles Saatchi, during a heated argument. And the Mirror has acquired rather graphic photos that detail the sequence of events.

We don’t have access to the pictures discussed in this story, but you can see them here. Nigella appears distressed and utterly humiliated that her husband would treat her in such a manner, but a couple who witnessed the event says she tried to calm Charles by kissing him on the cheek, which is just heartbreaking to read. I guess this went down a week ago, and the photos are just now surfacing as part of a Mirror cover story. What’s particularly disturbing about this incident is that people saw this happen in a restaurant at an outside table that was in full view of the street, and nobody intervened at all. Nobody reported sh-t. In fact, nothing at all would have come of this incident if the photos hadn’t been sold to the Mirror, so I guess this is something of a victory for tabloid journalism because we’re talking about it now. Here are the gory details:

Nigella Lawson

Her eyes are transfixed as she struggles to prise away the powerful hand squeezing around her throat.

Glamorous TV cook Nigella Lawson looks stunned to be attacked by her art collector husband Charles Saatchi during a vicious row at their favourite London restaurant. Fellow diners and passersby at Scott’s in Mayfair were shocked to see the advertising multimillionaire reduce his celebrity wife to tears.

Saatchi launched a tirade of angry words. Four times he grasped her around the neck with Nigella, 53, looking powerless and petrified. At first he used only his left hand, then both. At one stage he tweaked her nose then pushed both hands in her face. Twice Nigella jerked her head backwards as if in fear.

Several times she nodded intently while the conversation became more and more heated. By the end of the meal she was clearly distraught and in tears. Now there are fears of severe problems in their 10-year marriage – his third and her second. Nigella has been abroad frequently promoting her latest book and TV series while Saatchi, 70, has become ever more reclusive and tetchy.

The bust-up came after the couple had just finished eating at the specialist seafood restaurant. Nigella and Saatchi always ask for the same table, which is outside ­because he likes to smoke. It is partly sheltered by olive trees and box bushes. But the attack could be clearly seen and heard by other customers and those passing by the restaurant in the busy street.

Nobody intervened although the incident looked brutal.

A couple on the adjacent table, who briefly chatted with Nigella earlier, turned round and gasped in alarm as they saw her in distress. She dabbed her eyes on a linen napkin as Saatchi tapped his cigarettes impatiently on the table. Nigella then downed her glass of red wine in one gulp and began to talk, her voice trembling. She seemed to be trying to pacify her husband, placing a hand on his left wrist as it lay on the table. At that moment she leaned over and kissed his right cheek.

“It was utterly shocking to watch,” said one onlooker. “I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and was constantly dabbing her eyes. Nigella was very, very upset. She had a real look of fear on her face. No man should do that to a woman. She raised her voice and got angry but at the same time was trying to calm him down, almost like you would try to calm down a child.

“The kiss was a strange thing. He was being intimidating, threatening. And yet she kissed him. She appeared to be a woman who loves him but was clearly unable to stop him being abusive, frightening and disrespectful to her.”

Saatchi, 6ft and 17 stone, marched off, leaving his wife sobbing at the table and grasping her mobile phone as he got into a car the couple had waiting. The onlooker said: “He looked guilty. It was clear he knew he’d done something wrong. He was menacing, there’s no question. She had been abused and humiliated in public.”

As Nigella walked to the car she put a hand to her mouth and bit her lip while wiping away tears. The pair returned to the £12million converted warehouse in Chelsea, central London, where they live with his daughter Phoebe, 19, and her children Cosima, also 19, and Bruno, 17 – all from previous marriages.”

[From The Mirror]

The Mirror goes on to detail how Charles is a jealous douchebag who hates Nigella’s fame and refuses to eat his wife’s cooking because “his ultimate act of rebellion has been to reject her food.” Nice guy, right?

According to The Telegraph, Scotland Yard has now decided to investigate the incident, and the Mail has photos of Nigella leaving her and Charles’ home with a suitcase (her teenage son, Bruno, was with her) a few hours after the photos were published. The Mail has also posted another photo of Nigella and Charles earlier this year at the same restaurant with Charles placing a hand over Nigella’s mouth; the site goes on to quote some neighbors of the couple who claim the relationship is “volatile” and that the pair has been overheard arguing in the street on prior occasions.

I hate to say it (really), but it sounds like this isn’t the first time Charles has gotten physical with Nigella. Instead, this is probably only the first time it’s happened in a public setting, which could serve as a wake up call to Nigella, who only decided to leave after the photos were published. Hopefully, Nigella will stay strong after leaving the marital home and never return, and hopefully, Charles will be prosecuted for getting violent with his wife.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN

 

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291 Responses to “Nigella Lawson’s husband choked her in public & there are photos”

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  1. GoldenState says:

    I am so glad you’re covering this…I was going to tweet you a link if you hadn’t.

    This was so disturbing to read yesterday. All I could think about was if this is how he treats her in public, what’s the cruelty to her like in private? You know it’s bad when a man feels entitled enough to choke his wife in public.

    I also can’t believe that no one intervened during their spat. Disgusting. I can only imagine now how many people knew about this and kept it quiet.

    • SageM says:

      That’s what it’s like nowadays in the UK. A couple of years ago, when I was queuing up in a fast food restaurant in Kings Cross, I politely challenged a lady who blatantly stepped to the front of the queue. At this point she started to threaten me (screaming) that she would punch me in the face if I didn’t shut up. The cashier continued to serve her, and the people in the queue behind me just looked down and not a single person stepped in to defend me. I had to walk away. If this had happened in my native Argentina, one of the many men who witnessed this would have stepped up to take my side, I have no doubt. chivalry is well and truly dead in the UK.

      • GoldenState says:

        UGH. I can’t believe no one stuck up for you, man or woman!!

        I will never forget being in an airport and an older, obviously of-money woman was loudly criticizing a single mom (she didn’t know) in front of her for no good reason. I was the only person in the crowd with the courage to tell the older woman to be quiet. I don’t care how old you are–have some manners and respect the people around you! I have no tolerance for this sort of behavior!

      • SageM says:

        @goldenstate – Not only that, but this was the day after the London bombings on 7/7, where Kings Cross was the most affected. It’s the equivalent of going through this in NY on 9/12, across the road from Ground Zero. You know, when everybody was sticking together? Crazy :-(

      • Rll says:

        Don’t start fights if you can’t finish them

      • SageM says:

        Apologies Rll, I clearly misunderstood what you meant.

      • Mich says:

        I think this attitude goes back quite a while. In fact, I think it is intrinsically British.

        About 15 years ago, I had a 14 hour layover in London and decided to see the city. Catching the train back to Heathrow, I was about to step on when a man blocked me with his advertising portfolio so he could get on before me. He stepped only far enough in to please himself so I had to squeeze in the only space remaining by the door. It was incredibly uncomfortable and at some point I muttered “I hope I’m not in your way”. I said it very sweetly – Southern girl sarcasm. Instead of moving, he spent the next 15 minutes screaming to the entire train “Did you hear this bird? She hopes she isn’t in my f’ing way” as if I had just insulted him greatly. He was very threatening about it and I was genuinely scared. The other men on the train just held their papers a little higher to hide their faces.

      • bluhare says:

        Mich, I think it is more prevalent in England as English culture is (was?) more private. But it’s prevalent everywhwere. No one wants to get involved.

      • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

        The cashier should have called a manager and not kept serving that lady. And likely this creature will keep being a hellion when she goes out in public because she knows she can get away with it as nobody wants to get involved and say something to put her in her place. This is how the world gets taken over by morons.

      • mercyme says:

        Sage didn’t ‘start’ anything. She was merely standing up for herself.

        @Mich, It sounds like he was drunk or has a problem with ‘foreigners,’ or both. I’ve run into too many belligerent, entitled men who’s true colours are on full display after their nightly drinking sessions. If they were with a woman, she’d sit there looking embarrassed or try to calm him. The men all looked the other way. Glad I don’t have to put up with it anymore.

        That’s what this situation reminds me of. I hope the miserable tw-t does time for this. I’m sorry no one intervened, but I’m glad it was caught on camera. Now it’s his turn to be publicly humiliated.

      • Elle says:

        SageM, I have to say it’s not like that in the whole of UK. London does not include the rest of the country.

        I live in in a town in middle England and people would intervene. When you walk down the street here it’s not unusual to acknowledge and say hello to people you pass by.

      • SageM says:

        Elle, you’re very right, it’s not all like that. I hear that up north people are friendlier too. London is its own beast, I guess.

      • Georgina says:

        I want to say that this is not always true in UK. Look at the women who bravely stepped in at woolwich murder recently. They went into a situation in which two men were wielding knives at a young soldier who tragically died. These women tried to talk the two men down. For the people who don knowt who saatchi is, Tis man is very powerful, he is billionaire and has a lot of power, i would expect the restaurants waiters probably were scared to report this. I think his power and wealth plays a part in this story.

      • Carla says:

        nah, no soy la única argentina que lee celeperra?!

      • Me Three says:

        This is not a UK problem. This happens everyday in the US as well as in many, if not most, Western and developed countries, my friends. People simply don’t step up anymore. They “don’t want to “get involved.”.

        As far as the utter self-centered nature of all the people who Sage and others used as examples in the UK, I run into their American brethren on a daily basis. Let’s face it; we live in a world of narcissistic and entitled people who believe they have the right to cut in lines and push their way ahead to get on buses or trains. Welcome to the Facebook generation!

      • Trashaddict says:

        Yes, Me Three. Serious lack of manners about. People cutting you off to make a right turn and giving the finger like you are at fault, not them. Parents at my kids’ school who can’t shut up during parent meetings or student recitals. And I mean they really can’t stop running at the mouth for 5 minutes. Guess what their kids are learning from them?

      • stinky says:

        what “Me three” said.

      • Leen says:

        I think this mostly a western culture thing where the emphasis is on the individual rather than the ‘collective’ (this could be both a good and a bad thing). I lived in both the Mid-East and Europe/US and I’ve noticed that people tend to keep to themselves especially in big cities and don;t like to get involved. In the Middle East, what happens on the street is everyone’s business. If there’s a problem, you can bet there will be 10 other people trying to see what’s going on/diffuse the situation.

    • Lizzie says:

      Agree it’s great that the blog is covering this!!
      Have you seen his statement about it? He’s actually said it was just a little tiff and he wasn’t choking her but trying to illustrate a point. He also told her to leave the house until the dust settled.
      What a d-bag.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I find it horrifying to even contemplate being choked in public, and I really hope Nigella gets away from this asshat as quickly as possible.

      As for not intervening, I’m torn as far as that goes. I’d like to think that if I saw something of that nature happen I’d jump up and try to stop it, but the sad reality is that you never know how the other people will react. Case in point: I live across the street from a public park and one night a couple were arguing…no violence was occurring (yet) but a bystander stepped in and tried to get the guy to step back because it was really heated. The guy ended up turning on the man who’d interfered and yelled at him too. Fortunately things calmed down because otherwise I would have finished dialing 911.

      Anyway! All that to say that I don’t know what I would do but I hope Nigella and her kid are alright.

    • SageM says:

      Politely asking a lady to step back in the queue is not “starting a fight”…. at least, it shouldn’t have been.

      ———-this is in reply to Rll’s comment above—–

      • Rll says:

        I didn’t mean you, I meant Charles Saatchi is old and fat. Nigella could wipe the floor with him

      • bluhare says:

        Old and fat does not mean defenceless. And it appears he is a drinker. I wouldn’t want to go against that.

      • bluhare says:

        I’m unable to edit my comment, and would add that Nigella wiping the floor with him isn’t a good solution either.

      • mercyme says:

        Oh I see, Nigella started it. Please. At the point he put his hands on her, who started the argument became irrelevant.

        She probably could wipe the floor with the old creep. That she didn’t speaks well of her, but I wish she had called the police. He’s probably been getting away with this kind of behaviour for awhile to feel free to act that way in public.

      • bluhare says:

        mercyme: To whom are you responding? If it’s me, you are totally misunderstanding me.

      • gefeylich says:

        Apparently Saatchi is now saying this incident was just “a harmless little tiff” and that his hands around her throat was “just fooling about.” Translation: “I am an extremely rich old drunk and I can buy all of you out a thousand times over, so can it with the “assault” reports. She’s my damn wife and if I want to kill her in public you’ll all shut up about it or know the reason why.”

        Sorry, but I’ve lost all respect for Nigella now. She’s not exactly the British Rhianna, but close enough, and she doesn’t have RiRi’s excuse of not having the brains god gave a lemon. So disappointed.

      • mercyme says:

        Sorry blu, that was in response to RII. I was agreeing with you.

        @gefeylich, wait to see what she does. Sometimes it takes awhile for the victim to wake up and realise this behaviour is not normal and they’re not doing themselves or their loved one any favours by trying to sweep it under the rug.

      • Gretchen says:

        @gefeylich
        “Sorry, but I’ve lost all respect for Nigella now. She’s not exactly the British Rhianna, but close enough, and she doesn’t have RiRi’s excuse of not having the brains god gave a lemon. So disappointed.”

        Nigella and all other survivors of domestic abuse thank you for your compassion and understanding.

        Your comment is f*cking gross.

      • Meaghan says:

        gefeylich – I’m disgusted with your response, its not black and white, and unless you have been on the receiving end of domestic abuse you should not make ignorant comments like that. You don’t know what is going on behind the scene, you don’t know the fear and how it destroys your self confidence and makes you feel like you deserve it, or the threats of what will happen if you try to leave. Its not just a simple matter of upping and leaving. Domestic victims endure intense mental abuse before it gets physical. Have you ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome?

      • TrustMeOnThis says:

        +1 Gretchen. And gefeylich judges Nigella.

        Nigella is NOT the one deserving to lose anyone’s respect. Getting out of an abusive situation is not easy – especially when you are married, live together, have children. Everyone should be judging the ABUSER.

        And if you (gefeylich and others making this argument) don’t get that, please be polite enough to sit down and shut up. Comments like that demean everyone who has ever been in an abusive situation. It isn’t the victim’s fault. It is the fault of the ABUSER. He chose to act like that – and in public! I shudder to think what he is like behind closed doors.

        Run, Nigella, run!

    • Bored suburbanhousewife says:

      There have been many notorious stories about bystanders who do nothing even when witnessing actual murder.

      Reviewing comments on the DM site, many were suggesting he was examining her tonsils or glands! Several (oddly men from Scotland for the most part), suggested it was nobody else’s business. Others suggested the photo publication was the real assault here. Their neighbors brushed it off as typical of their “volatlle” relationship.

      @SageM the female person who assaulted you was no lady!

      • Rll says:

        Fast food people in train stations are mainly shitheads anyway, don’t worry about them.

      • Mrs. Peacock says:

        @suburbanhousewife
        Are you referring to the Kitty Genovese murder in Queens in the 60s? It became the leading example for bystander apathy and inspired countless studies and research. It was, however, later slightly debunked- most people did nothing because the attacks happened at 3 in the morning (among other factors). It’s still an interesting story, to be sure! Especially considering how her murderer was eventually apprehended!

      • Bored suburbanhousewife says:

        Yes Kitty Genovese is the most famous but recently In Bethesda MD some Apple store employees did nothing despite the sounds of a vicious beating to death that occurred in the Lululemon Store next door. They listened at the walls & told the Apple security guard but no one even bothered to call 911 just in case.

        The failure to rescue has been much debated and studied I law, philosophy and human psychology.

        Many people are afraid of being out of line or being hurt themselves. I once shared a flat for the summer with another girl in a crime ridden city. One night for the first time ever and with no notice she did not come home all night. What to do?

        The next day to ease my mind I called her office to make sure she was there. At first she thanked me for my concern but later told me I had embarrassed her and violated her privacy and she no longer wanted to be my friend. However I could not have lived with myself if something had indeed happened and I had not even bothered to make a phone call.

        I’ll bet some of the folks in the restaurant were having conversations like ” is he actually choking her? Should we say something ? Suppose its nothing and we make a scene & embarras ourselves, etc.”

      • L says:

        Half the comments on the Mail are also about how this is ‘none of our business’-which is just the language of abusers in my opinion. Their claims that it should be private, that it’s a personal argument that’s none of our concern. Sit down and be quiet.

        NO. This man is committing a crime. If he was choking another man or a child, NO one on the daily mail would be commenting that it is none of our business.

        Rawr. People like that just infuriate me.

      • Mrs. Peacock says:

        @housewife
        Sounds like damned if you do, damned if you don’t, which seems like a lot of reasoning behind people’s comments here and their ultimate decision to not intervene. BUT- you gotta be able to sleep at night with the decisions you make, and, personally, I think you made the right one. Better to lose a friend over an invasion of privacy than to lose a friend to something far worse.

      • nancy says:

        Sometimes the person who intervenes gets killed. I know that’s happened before. It’s hard to know what the right thing is to do.

      • Kath says:

        The really depressing thing about the response to this story is the number of ‘men’s movement’ weirdos who keep posting on boards claiming that most domestic violence is instigated by women, men are the real victims, it takes two to tango etc.

        Reading the comments on news sites (not just in relation to this story, but in general) has been an real eye-opener as to the amount of resentment and outright hatred some men have for women – all women. It’s scary stuff.

    • teehee says:

      Intervening is our duty– or better said it is our right and responsibility to ensure the well being of our neighbors, despite the victory that selfishness, cowardice, and greed have assumed in our culture today.
      That fantastical ideal aside, intervening or helping is not easy at all, especially in a situation where someone is on a rage and has super human capacities and shit zero regard for how anyone could feel or think about it. Much worse is when a person who only wants to help is held accountable or somehow at fault when a situation may get out of hand. – these are the fears that keep well intending people away from their inner desire to help others.
      A rule of thumb I usually stick to, is always to appeal to a higher authority or use higher authority.
      Gather more people than just yourself- get as many people with you as you can and outnumber, outwit, and out strengthen whatever opponent you have. For example- this was a public place, I would have asked the people at the table next to me to join, and yet another table to join, and we could go as a group to split them up or even have all the men hold that ape down until police came.
      Another appeal to higher power is to get restaraunt staff involved, not just customers- they have more “say” as it is their property and business. I know, an ape like him does NOT care abotu that- that is particularly the problem, but, its more against him.
      Start taking pictures- evidence, incrimination. Film things- you cant do much with just your word but evidence against the culprit is damning.
      Dont fight fire with fire– be as calm as posible and as discrete as possible. Dont threaten or challenge a nutjob, but believe in the existence of right and wrong, and basic human rights, and let that speak for itself. Somewhere, someone also believes in the same thing and will reinforce you.
      In the utter worst situation, claim mass injury. This is kinda funny, but, it helps to damn the culprit. If this ape were to put a finger on me while I intervened, I would fall to the floor, bringing the table down with me, screaming in agony, yelling for help, so that the whole street would see it and people would come running over. its the ‘hiding’ and ‘keeping secret’ of abuse, which gives it so much more power over the victims. So do the opposite, and let the whole world know. Abusers hate emotions and tears, because it lets everyone ELSE know, that they are doing something wrong. Hence, the shame that builds up inside of victims because tears are just ‘signs of weakness’– when the real reason is, it incriminates the abuser for their actions.

      I know this is all just theoretical, but I do have experience, having grown up in a very abusive household (saw my mom strangled, sister pushed thru glass door, me pushed down stairs, threatened with shotgun, etc) and the last thing I want to do, is be one of those people “who knew but did nothing”. Im sure the whole street heard my dad yelling at my mom, but not once did police show up to intervene: nobody called. I do believe it is worth the risk and the trouble, to SHOW the abuser, that he CANT just always get away with it. Even if you cant stop him, even if he continues, at least he knows that one person out there of millions, challenged him and there will be other, and she will know one person cared about her. That to me will always have some value at the end of the day.

      • Tulip says:

        Those tips you gave are brilliant, and I’ll add them to my arsenal;)

        Good for you for staying strong in such a toxic environment

      • Soporificat says:

        This is such great advice! As I was reading the article I was going through scenarios in my own mind about how I might have reacted to the situation, because there is NO WAY I would have stood by and watched that without doing something, even if it meant I got hurt. I just couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t. But, honestly, my only thought was that I would just go confront them, and since I’m a small woman, that might not be so effective.

        You’ve given me some sensible tools to work with if I ever find myself in that type of situation.

      • UsedToBeLulu says:

        Those are all excellent tips! Thankfully, I find that where I live (San Diego, CA – USA) people generally DO intervene or somehow support anyone being treated badly. Maybe that is because we live between Camp Pendleton and the navy base, and there are many strong, young men and women who have no fear of intervening.

        It sounds as if the general public atmosphere in England is frightening! I have heard of it first hand from a man who lives there. I wonder why it is so. Overcrowding? Something in the water? Sheesh.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        People rarely involve themselves in altercations. When I was 28, and 6 months pregnant with my first, I was involved in a road rage incident where a man in his late 40s followed me to the supermarket (after he thought I wouldn’t let him cut in front of me in traffic). He followed me into the store screaming obsenities (including dirty wh0re), and accused me of not knowing who the father of my child was (even though I was clearly wearing a wedding ring). I shuffled inside as quickly as I could and he ran up behind me, pulling me back by my shoulder, got nose to nose with me and proceeded to scream more insults in my face. By this time, a crowd of 5 or 6 people had formed and they watched him spit in my face repeatedly. No one did a thing, so I went to look for help (but by the time I returned with a store manager the a-hole had left). If I ever witness anything like that happen to anyone else I will, most certainly, call the police and do my best to be sure the victim is safe and the assailant (whether it be a husband/wife or stranger) is arrested.

      • minxx says:

        Good advice. I also add another thing: show the abuser your phone and tell him you’re dialing the police. Worked many times for me, most recently in a road rage incident when a guy followed me and jumped out of his car to my window. I locked the doors and calmly showed him the phone while mouthing “police”. He immediately went back to his car.
        With an abuser at home, do not hesitate to report him. I did it with my stepfather who used to beat up my mom – a visit from a police officer really calmed him down for a while.

      • bluhare says:

        minxx: I did exactly the same thing. An older man with two children in the car tried to run me off the road. Honest to god, I have no idea why he picked on me. So I waved my phone at him and started dialing. He sped up and left me alone. Wish I’d have got his license, but I was pretty shook up at almost ending up in a river!

      • Theresa says:

        I totally agree! And I am just the kind of rather big-mouthed and slightly hotheaded type of person who becomes involved. Case in point, I work in a small restaurant, and one day we had a table of three with a pretty blonde woman and two male co-workers. An annoying “regular” came in, and sort of zeroed in on the young woman. He eventually left the restaurant and came back with a bouquet of flowers and gave them to her and spoke with her. I watched, it was rather fascinating, but then almost immediately I could tell from her face that she was uncomfortable. I went over and asked if she knew him, she said no and I am not sure who piped in but they said he was bothering her and she was uncomfortable. I asked her if she wanted me to talk to the guy and she said no, but if he approached her again she would appreciate it, but only if he bothered her again.

        Well, I watched them closely, and went up to the guy anyway, he was a regular customer and tended to be loud and always appeared slightly drunk. I made sure to let him know that he was to leave the customers alone, eat his food and remind him I was aware of the situation.

        I am a regular sized woman, and this guy looked like a body builder. But there was no way I was going to sit by, as a staff member and let a customer be harassed. The men that she was with told him when he approached the table to move along, but it was only until I intervened that the guy smartened up.

        Would he have retaliated against me? I didn’t care. I felt in control and the woman thanked me when they were leaving for intervening.

        I will always remember how good it felt to take control of the situation, and how it helped the young woman. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Oh, and I secretly thank goodness that I have a green stripe in tae kwon do. Amazing what a little martial arts will do for one’s courage!

      • teehee says:

        Im very saddened to hear of the times no one intervened or helped… but then again that is exactly the point- more people SHOULD and the terrible stories should teach others that its OK to stand up and OK to interfere.

        I also wonder, given my experience, what would happen if I threateend to dial the police openly- rather than doing it secretly. It brings to mind my story of when I was 10, my dad has punched my mom across the kitchen, and proceeded to strangle her on the floor. I yelled to my sister to dial 911– cos I was too afraid to run and do it myself– and my sister actually did run and get the phone.
        Immediately my dad turned and headed to HER- telling her he would kill her if she didnt put the phone back down.
        Needless to say, the police werent called…. and after my dad picked up my mom by her shirt, ripping it to pieces, she fled in the car to a parking lot where she stayed for hours.


        I am on one side very afraid of the unpredictability of such people, other side very proactive when it comes to doing something if someone else is in danger. I get flashbacks of someone charging toward me to attack me, when thinking of doing something, -becaus I know they can, I know they will– these people are NOT to be underestimated or played with!!

        I dunno what Im tryign to say— I have a plethora of feelings about this…. dont be afraid to do what is right, but that doesnt mean, dont ‘fear’ these people– they are dangerous, never underestimate, EVER. But for that same reason, its all themore important that people DO try to help :/

      • Claudia says:

        MorticiansDoItBetter– Wow, I can’t believe that this happened in public and no one did anything! Especially since you were pregnant, I know we have the faintest hope that at the very least people would feel braver about coming to the aid of women and children. I know in my heart I would have done something, and I’m sorry that in your situation no one did. That is terrifying.

    • Decloo says:

      Whoa, I can’t believe nobody even said something. My husband would have stepped in immediately and told him to cool it. The problem here is that, if he were an truly an abusive husband, his being humiliated by strangers taking her side, might anger him more and put her in further danger.

    • LAK says:

      All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.

      as recently as last month, those poor girls held captive in Cleveland for 10 [TEN]YEARS, but for the eventual response to their cries for help from someone who had barely moved in to the neighbourhood and therefore had no deep ties to the community. The neighbours heard/saw something fishy, including seeing these girls being walked, naked and shackled, in the yard but looked the other way…..

      Helping isn’t about weighing risk to oneself. That’s a purely selfish thought because one can only help if there is no risk to you? or perhaps there is a material reward?

      Meanwhile this poor woman is being choked in broad day light at the restaurant table next to you…..

      I have never been more proud than when those 3 ladies in Woolwich confronted 2 knife wielding maniacs as they hacked a soldier to death. They were too late to save the soldier, but they still confronted those men, whilst the men were still in their killing frenzy high, still blood soaked and still waving their knives around.

      THAT is what we should all do.

      People go on and on how someone is a hero for simply doing the right thing, meanwhile they themselves do nothing to prevent things like a lady being choked at a table next to them…..

      I am so pissed off at the other diners who simply sat there and observed. ditto the photographer.

      I don’t care if this was the first time he did it or a repeat occurrence. Suppose he had the strength to choke the life out of her….what then? crying and hand-wringing and forming committees and task forces and trials etc wouldn’t bring Nigella back.

      It’s all very well to sit in Judgement over Saatchi, now….but why did no one do anything then, and i hope something is done now. This story is groundhog’s day every single time. Why can’t we change the record?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree with you so much that this needs to be stopped, and it does seem like groundhog’s day with these stories…no one stepping up.

        I have to point out one thing, though. You wrote in regards to Ohio, “The neighbours heard/saw something fishy, including seeing these girls being walked, naked and shackled, in the yard but looked the other way…”

        I think it has been determined the girls never saw that. The victims told police they were never outside except for two times to walk to the garage, and they were forced to wear lots of hats and wigs and scarves to cover their faces. Apparently they were never naked on leashes in the backyard.

  2. e.non says:

    there’s no way this is the first time he’s been violent towards her. hopefully, the publicity will push her towards escape — at least get her kids out of that house.

    • Rhea says:

      I think it’s not the first time he did it in the public. He grasped her neck more than once in that restaurant so he clearly confident enough that no one would intervened them—even in the public!

      It’s probably the first time happened in public with someone around who decided to snapped pictures about the fight and sold it.

      • bluhare says:

        The DM says it isn’t, Rhea. They indicated he did something physical to her a while ago. Apparently that place is their favourite.

        And people were watching. There was a waiter at their table and a woman craning her neck for a view.

      • Rhea says:

        @bluhare :
        What a creep! Good thing this time around someone took pictures and the images clearly showed him grasped her neck. It gets more attention this time around.

        People were watching but no one really intervened. I found that really upsetting. :(

  3. T.Fanty says:

    The pictures are quite upsetting. Especially the one that has other diners watching and doing nothing. What he’s doing here is only partly about violence; it’s mostly humiliation. It looks like he’s disciplining a dog. If he does this in public, one can’t imagine what goes on behind closed doors.

    • GoldenState says:

      YES. There’s a picture of him a year ago putting his hand over her mouth in public, like you would quiet an animal. UGH. Infuriating!

    • FLORC says:

      There’s a real sense of fear in her face. He probably feels entitled and blames her for him getting angry. Because in an abusers mind you’re at fault for wanting them to be angry. It’s not their fault because they’re not in control of their emotions. It’s total BS, but i’ve heard the argument before.

      My guess is if she’s trying to calm him and remains still during this whole thing this is far from the first time. If it’s anything like a past relationship of mine you get maybe 2 or 3 months of peace and then you start fearing when the next flare up will occur and over what. And if you do nothing wrong they will still explode and it’s completely out of nowhere. At that point you want to leave, but the next day everything is fine and loving again. You stop asking for their apology about yesterday’s actions and just try to forget. The next few months will be good until they’re not.

      I can’t say why any woman stays or why I stayed. It’s just not that simple to leave. I feel for this woman if her situation is ongoing like mine was.

      • Celia says:

        Yes I thought it really odd that her first reaction wasn’t to lift both her hands to her face and rip his hand off her throat.

      • bluhare says:

        Apparently he’s jealous of her fame and must be his way of bringing him down a notch or two.

        I’d like to bring him down a notch or two.

      • FLORC says:

        Bluhare
        Jealous or not he probably feel justified in his actions. Especially to be so bold as to do it in public. However he justifies it to himself, I bet jealousy is just the latest excuse.

      • bluhare says:

        FLORC: She probably doesn’t butter his toast properly either. This sounds like a man who likes to demean people to bolster his ego.

      • Miss Thang says:

        Your mention of the blame he might be putting on her struck a chord with me. My father used to tell us we were sending him to hell because we were the reason he was always so violent. It sounds nuts from the outside, but when someone you love says something with so much passion and certainty it is easy to wonder if they are right.

      • bluhare says:

        Miss Thang: What you describe is textbook abuser rationale. It’s never their fault; it’s yours for doing something that made them act that way. It’s in no way true. Your behavior has no bearing on his reaction. It was just used as an excuse. I totally understand, as one of my strongest childhood memories is wondering if there was any other child out there that was as naughty as I was. We all deserve better than that.

      • FLORC says:

        The buttering the toast bit is actually extremely accurate. I remember washing the dishes the way I wash them and not the way he wanting me to wash them. That was enough to set him off. Both ways gets the dish clean and i’m the one doing it after all, but still it’s about control and feeling superior. Another way he rationalized which is still pretty textbook was if he kept the anger inside it would be bad for his health. You need to vent out the anger or he’ll explode i guess.

    • Starrywonder says:

      I don’t understand how these people watched, took pictures, and did not intervene!

    • Stacy says:

      He has also publicly trashed her cooking skills and says he finds her meals pedestrian.

      If he says and does stuff like this in public, god only knows what he says and does to her in private.

  4. maxine says:

    Horrible, disgusting, but there NEEDS to be MORE light shed on domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, all of these CRIMES. Great job on this story Celebitchy. Victims like this poor woman need to feel as validated as someone who is robbed or burglarized or attacked. I hope she will cooperate in prosecuting her husband and that she and her family will be safe. Thank you for publishing this Celebitchy. Thank you.

    • whipmyhair says:

      Totally! I’m rereading “picture perfect” by Jodi picoult. Really opened my eyes to what domestic violence can be like- and why some women stay with their abuser.

      But I don’t think a person can really understand domestic violence until they have experienced it first hand.

      What I’m trying to say is- more coverage of domestic violence the better so we as a society can understand how horrible it is

    • teehee says:

      Agreed. People who havent lived with it, have nowhere near any idea how bad it really is, how far reaching and deep its effects are.
      Similarly, those how have been abused, have nowhere near an idea of what a normal life is- what positive is, what being loved is. Usually, they’ve never felt it.
      My mom left an abusive relationship ver 15 years ago and still has trouble accepting her new partner’s love and support. She is repeatedly surprised by how “normal” he is, she just cant comprehend it. Same how normal people cant comprehend just how black and evil an abusive person is….. but more publicity is better, so the two sides can see more of each other.

      • EmmGee says:

        We share a very similar history, TeeHee. Growing up in a household full of unpredictable violence certainly changes how we look at the world, doesn’t it? My mom married my step-dad 25 years ago and on Father’s Day yesterday,
        HE was the “dad” I honored with gifts and dinner. My “father” got a brief phone call. As much as it saddens me to read about Nigella’s situation, I truly hope it somehow increases awareness that domestic violence knows no boundaries…rich, poor, young, old, beautiful, plain……anyone can find themselves in this situation.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      These pictures have haunted me all morning. I feel so much for her. I REALLY hope she gets out of this relationship.

    • I Choose Me says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

      I can’t imagine standing idly by and doing nothing. The idea that it is none of my business when someone is being abused and humiliated in my presence is abhorrent to me. Every situation is different of course and you have to be careful as some abusers’ actions are unpredictable but you have to let them know that their abuse is unacceptable. I would have gone up to them and said, “why is your hand around her neck? That’s not okay. I’m calling the police.”

      I hope she finds the strength within to cut this douchebag out of her life for good.

  5. Lake Mom says:

    Wish I’d been there, I’d have kicked his ass…but then again I don’t suppose they allow redneck girls in that kind of place. Pity.

    • dena says:

      This is why I firmly believe that abuse has a psychological component to it because there is no way in hell this old fart would choke me, hem me up, and abuse me . . . because this girl from Chi would had laid his old azz out cold.

      On the physical side, I cannot see this happening. He is 70. She is in her 50s. I mean he could be strong as an ox but still KICK HIS ASS. Now, if she were an older woman, I would be more sympathetic. I am not without sympathy for her but damn.

      • gekkca says:

        It’s not just about the physical. The fact that she kissed him afterwards and tried to calm him, to me, means that there is a big psychological part to this. Abusers come in all shapes and sizes. The physical part can be mild compared to the verbal and psychological abuse. You’d be surprised.

      • marie says:

        this is disgusting, and I would like to think that had I been there I would have called the cops, something. But the fact of the matter is, no one knows what they’ll do until they are in that situation. for him to feel comfortable enough to choke her in public, this isn’t that first time he’s done it. with the way she reacted to him, the pet on the hand, kiss on the cheek, she has been tempering his anger for a while. I’m glad she left him, but I think had this not gone public she would probably still be with him.

      • bluhare says:

        I am one of those people and I have got involved, and people around me told me not to that I didn’t know what would happen. True, I didn’t. But I’ll be damned if I’ll be one of those people walking by a dead guy on the street leaving him lie there for hours.

        In this situation, I think calling 911 or 999 would be the best option. Getting physically involved in those type of situations isn’t necessarily a good idea.

      • LAK says:

        Nigella has spoken at length about how her mother was emotionally, and occasionally physically, abusive to her growing up.

        Her behaviour to Saatchi is response from a lifetime of being at the receiving end of this sort of thing.

        Every description of how he behaves towards her reads like her own description of how her mother behaved.

  6. Kate says:

    This is one instance where it’s good that the paparazzi were around. They shed light on abuse that was probably going on for a while, and now that it’s out there, she has no choice but to leave and he has no choice but to let her.

  7. lady mary. says:

    this is sad ….,and nigella is a very strong woman ,who has braved great personal losses ,and to yet come out so cheery and inspire our lazy asses to cook ,is remarkable indeed.ihave loved her always and admired her personality,its not fair that this douche of her husband treat her so badly that too publicly,i hope she is fine and better ,and certsinly not intimidated by this douche

  8. GiGi says:

    I’m so glad you’re covering this – so horrifying.

    This guy sounds like a complete a$$. IIRC, didn’t she start up with this guy while her first husband was dying – and with his blessing, too? It’s an odd story to be sure… hope she gets away from this awful loser.

    • Jag says:

      Apparently, her first husband died of throat cancer so this one smokes just to spite her. I cannot believe she’s not strong enough to leave him. He must be threatening her family or something. I know that for me, my abuser at the time would’ve come to kill me after he got out of jail. Perhaps she’s terrified of the same thing?

  9. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    Nigella has been a heroine for me. Her cookbooks are the best around IMO with an amazing combination of flair, simplicity & sheer yumminess. I loved her shows, she comes from a fascinating family, & she has overcome great heartbreak in her life. I hope she leaves that monster. He went after her when her first husband wa dying of cancer & is probably pathologically possessive about her. Get out, Nigella, get out now!

  10. Sabrine says:

    I remember right after she married him that I didn’t like the looks of him. I hope the leaving with the suitcase leads to something more concrete and that she dumps him.

    • SageM says:

      I agree. she also seemed to jump into this relationship very soon after her late husband died. I wondered at the time if she shouldn’t take some time to grieve, and enter this relationship with a clearer head.

      • LAK says:

        Actually, her late husband gave his blessing, sort of. Saatchi was a very good friend and the husband made him promise he would look after her when he was gone.

        The thing is though, Her mother and sister and husband all died within a fairly short range of years. You can’t really blame her for choosing to get on with her life even if that choice turns out this way.

      • Hakura says:

        @LAK – I hadn’t known about the ‘good friend’ angle, in regards to the loss of her husband. She was in SUCH a vulnerable place, even more so losing others so close together. She was probably desperate to find someone to ‘hold on’ to, anything not to be alone.

        I wonder though, if she experienced abuse from her 1st husband. (Not because he was friends with Saatchi, but because Nigella fits the pattern, going from an abusive childhood to an abusive relationship w/Saatchi, so it wouldn’t surprise me if 1st husband was, too.

        If that was the case, it’s even easier to see how she ended up in this position, as she would’ve already been even *more* well conditioned to accept abusive behavior from a husband.

    • whipmyhair says:

      Let’s hope this is the wake up call/ final straw.I hope they both get the help they need (anyone know of some kind of anti douche drug?)

  11. DanaG says:

    I hope she has left him for good as others have said this isn’t the first time clearly and the fact he feels so comfortable in doing it in such a public place shows how egotistical he is. Pity Nigella waited a week till they go published. Her first husband died and then she married this douchebag. If he doesn’t like her fame or her food he should rack off. Plenty of really nice guys would be proud to be with such a lovely talented woman. I hope Nigella realises she is worth so much more then this idiot.

  12. Peanut says:

    I didn’t see any photos where other patrons are just sitting around watching? But regardless, I hope she gets away from her husband. How awful. :(

  13. allons-y alonso says:

    I saw the photos on the news this morning. They are horrifying and completely degrading to Lawson. I’m truly shocked that no-one intervened. It is NEVER okay to hurt or humiliate another human being.

  14. Samigirl says:

    I can’t believe someone just stood by an took pictures instead of calling the police! Are you kidding me?!

    • cheerfulg says:

      + 10,000,000,000,000 to the tenth power!

    • Nicolette says:

      Amazing isn’t it? That’s the world we live in now. It’s more important to get a photo or video so they can run and upload it to FB or You Tube. It’s disgusting. Truly disturbs me when people photograph dead bodies on the street like they are sightseeing.

      This can’t be the first time he’s done this. If he’s comfortable enough to do this in public, imagine what goes on behind closed doors. She should have reached down and grabbed a big handful of his peen and balls and squeezed like it was a pastry bag, until he let go. Then she should have called the cops on his ass while he sat there writhing in pain :)

      • gogoGorilla says:

        Agreed. This winter there was a terrible accident on the other side of the highway. As I drove by, I saw a bunch of people standing outside their cars taking pictures. I later learned there was a near-decapitated person hanging out of one of the vehicles. I actually got sick after hearing that. I can’t imagine being so… I don’t even know what the word is, you know? Inhuman, or something.

    • bluhare says:

      Totally agree, but the devil in me is saying at least it brought attention to the situation. I just hope like hell the photographer didn’t sell them, but offered them up.

  15. Blueb says:

    I can’t believe that no one helped her or said anything… not even the pap who was taking pictures of the whole thing!

  16. mkyarwood says:

    I will never understand how people don’t intervene on this shit. I can’t even watch people feed bread and doritos to ducks without running in there and yelling at them. I would have been all over this absolute nut, and I would gladly do the prison time he’d throw at me for doing it.

    • Nev says:

      Word.

      A wine bottle to his head. One. Time.

    • Myrto says:

      It amazes me how several people here are SO SURE they would have done something.
      No you don’t. You don’t know. Sure we all want to believe we’d intervene but the truth is, you don’t know how you’d react to a situation until you *are* in the situation. So enough with the “oh, people are so awful nowadays, nobody ever steps up”. As others pointed out, people are afraid to say something because they don’t know the whole story and think they might be out of line.

      • bluhare says:

        I would have been very easy for someone to take out their phone and call for help. Choking someone out in a restaurant? He’s really brazen to do that.

        And I can tell you right here and right now, I would have done it.

      • LAK says:

        People waiting to have all the facts is the reason all these terrible scenerios keep repeating themselves across the world.

      • gogoGorilla says:

        I agree with you. I think people don’t actively help in certain situations because (1) they’re afraid of getting hurt and (2) our parents drill into us “look away, look away, it’s not your problem, mind your business.” I think people underestimate that life lesson, because it gets very hard when you’re older to actively intervene in what you see as someone else’s business.

        That said, I simply cannot imagine being out to dinner and sitting there watching some man repeatedly choke his wife. My husband would definitely get involved (but he’s a large, scary-looking bald man and has that going in his favor).

      • Liz says:

        Well, I’m happy to be able to say that I have stepped in more than once to break up fights between strangers, and I’m a mere 5 ft, 105 lb woman. One time, the attacker even punched me in the face, giving me a black eye and bloody nose. But I’d do it again in a minute, because I can’t stand seeing people get hurt. And sadly, I was the only one in both cases who did step up, despite all the bystanders who could have.

  17. Aud says:

    She has her own money and her own career. She should have left him a long time ago. This sort of behaviour doesn’t just randomly spring up on a restaurant. For him to feel comfortable enough to assault her in public, he’s had to have been doing that for a while and she has put up with it.
    The good thing is that she packed up her stuff and left. Hopefully she’ll divorce the psycho.
    What can be said for the paparazzo who took her photographs over a week ago?
    Wow…unbelievable, how low these photographers will stoop.

    • Lee says:

      Under the circumstances, I’m happy someone took those photos. They are far more likely to have helped her than a verbal smack-down by a bystander would have. Not that people shouldn’t intervene, but a permanent record of his abusiveness is priceless, and hopefully will be proof enough for charges to be laid.

      Also, I am devastated to see her utter humiliation, and afraid of what she has put up with over all of the years they’ve been together. Someone else mentioned it was like he was treating a bad dog – and everyone knows how an abused pet will cower and lick their abuser’s hand. She kissed that asshole’s cheek after he’d done this to her. She is a long time victim, no doubt, and terrified of him. How unhappy she must be, despite her successes. Profoundly sad.

      • bluhare says:

        Lee, you may be right. Seeing those photos may do more for her than any amount of talking to. She can’t make excuses, and she will see how he treats her in public.

        And my greatest regret in life is that I didn’t intervene when I saw a man beating his dog. The dog was crying, and I walked by. I have the memory of that and cry (like now) every time I think of it.

      • Aud says:

        There has been another photograph taken before this incident, where he does something similar [he covers her mouth], and she still didn’t leave.
        So no, I don’t see what difference the photographs make.
        Look at other celebrity examples. Rihanna had her beaten up face published across the globe. What did she do? She went back to the bastard.
        Women who are in relationships like this are usually abused over a long period of time and their psyche is battered as well, to the point where they need outside intervention.
        Photographs are not intervention.

      • UsedToBeLulu says:

        I admit, as horrified as I am that no one did anything except gawk and snap photos, at least there is now solid evidence and it is being shown world wide. He clearly has quite a grip on her throat, and is definitely squeezing hard. And I love that there is a clear picture of that awful couple and waiter who did nothing. I would like to publicly excoriate them too. >:

  18. Deanne says:

    How horrifying that the other diners and restaurant staff, sat idly by and watched this man abuse his wife. Nigella is beautiful and accomplished, but has said in the past that her Mother was extremely emotionally abusive. No doubt it’s caused her to have self esteem issues. She’s also said in the past, that she is the type who “has to be married”. It’s so sad to me that this woman would stay with a man who treats her so badly, rather than be alone. If he does this in public, imagine how he treats her in private.

    • Rumorhasit says:

      Sometimes it’s really sad the influence your upbringing can have on your present day adult life. I’ve read the stories about Nigellas mom also. In spite of being raised the way she was, and by who she was, she went on to make a name for herself and a very strong culinary career.
      Nigella doesn’t need a man, or his money, except in her own mind, where the dysfunctional scenes from her childhood keep cropping up to mar what should be a pretty successful, happy life.
      Now she finds herself with a hideous abusive man, who smokes ALOT in spite of the fact her previous husband died of throat cancer, and smoking is an issue with her due to that. He won’t eat her food, because he’s a food snob, and hers isn’t quite up to par for him. Did you see the picture of him pinching up the tip of her nose with his fingertips? He did that as well as the infamous choking scene. How degrading. Lord knows what this woman put up with her entitled bully millionaire at home. Ugh, and don’t even get me started on the by standers….
      Prayers for Nigella, (and anyone else living with this cycle of abuse), to have the strength to leave this mess behind. No one deserves to be treated this way.

      • Deanne says:

        It was like he was muzzling a dog. The photos are heartbreaking. For him to humiliate her like that is disgusting. He apparently said he would rather eat Weetabix than her food, but that “the children seem to like it”. It’s been written that he knows that his smoking is a sore spot for her, as she’s lost so many to cancer and that he does it to bother her. He sounds like an incredibly arrogant, cruel man.

      • bluhare says:

        Isn’t Saatchi a well known name? If memory serves me correctly aren’t they very big in advertising in London? Maybe he’s one of the unsuccessful ones so he’s got to make her grovel to make himself feel big.

        And, I said it upthread, but there’s a photo where he’s carrying a glass of wine. Alcohol is probably a big factor.

      • LAK says:

        B – He is actually super successful. He is the other Saatchi in the Saatchi & Saatchi Agency which for decades was the top corporate and branding advertising agency in London and remains top tier even though he is now retired.

        He is now a world class collector of contemporary art. We can thank him for the ongoing careers of Tracey Emin, Damien Hurst and all such artists.

        He is a noted grump and refusenik. He has a witty column in the Evening standard that glories in being grumpy. Honestly, his comments about his wife’s food and his own life were, until this incident, to be taken tongue firmly in cheek. Now, it’s not funny nor amusing.

  19. Cazzee says:

    Those pictures are really upsetting; I hope she leaves him and gets her life back.

    Also, is it possible that because of sightlines, the paparazzi could see these behaviors and the restaurant patrons could not?

  20. gloaming says:

    It was just a playful tiff according to Saatchi.
    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2342922/Nigella-Lawson-Charles-Saatchi-says-row-playful-tiff-held-throat-emphasise-point.html

    Yeah sure Charles. Your quite the gent really.

    • Kate says:

      I think the fact that he’s trying to write it off as playful is why it was really important that there were pictures. If this just got leaked because another patron of the restaurant told a reporter that Lawson’s husband choked her at a restaurant, the husband would laugh it off, say he was joking, and would he really be that stupid to actually choke his wife in a restaurant? And people would most likely believe him. But there are pictures. He’s an abusive asshole and we know it.

    • Londerland says:

      Playful tiff?! Jesus Christ. Not even an apology. Your wife’s sobbing because she hates it when you fight (read: when you YELL AT HER) and you think it’s appropriate to respond with an amusing throttling?

      As a wise woman once said, “In the future, when a woman’s crying like that, she isn’t having any fun”.

      I hope she divorces him and takes every damn penny he has, the despicable bastard.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      His response is sickening. Even if he did not physically harm her, which I don’t buy for a second, she is clearly distressed -had he “playfully” done it once, ok maybe I would suspend disbelief – but FOUR times, uh uh no way buddy. He is exerting power to quiet her even if he wasn’t strangling her; there is something very wrong here. Her eyes are tear filled and bulging, yet he does not feel the need to apologize publicly for this alone? He is clearly a scumbag who thinks he can get away with anything. I hope she does not let this continue because she has young children. I really hope she gets out, she can do so much better than this sad situation.

  21. Aussie girl says:

    I can’t believe she would put up with this. This story goes to show that violence against women does not descrimate, that this can effect any women, regardless of sussess. This is very sad what an ugly soul her husband possesses

  22. ronnie says:

    I haven’t brought myself to look at the photos but it’s sad that she only left him due to the abuse becoming public. hopefully it will be for good.

  23. Naye in VA says:

    I can totally believe nobody helped her. Totally. Having been there myself. Even recently, dealing with my ex who was holding my car door open, and threatening me, not letting me leave, I tried to wave down a passerby, who just kept going. And it’s not the first time. I’d say 1/5 times somebody will jump in and say something, or help. SOmetimes, people call the police and keep moving.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I would probably call the police before I would intervene. I would be scared that I would just make things worse by getting involved, particularly because men like this can’t stand having women attempt to control them. My fear would be that after publicly reprimanding him, he would be ashamed and angered and would make her life a living hell the second they were out of the public eye.
      Ideally, a man would step in and tell him man-to-man that what he’s doing is unacceptable.

      I don’t know…it’s really a tricky thing…..

      • bluhare says:

        I agree with you TOK. I would call the police rather than getting in the middle as well. Not only is there the possibility of the man turning on you, but also the woman. It’s happened.

        I used to be a crisis line counselor and I’ve seen the dynamic. So very frustrating to try to help.

      • The Original Tiffany says:

        Funny how some things stick with you. I remember this like it was yesterday. I was 16 and working as a hostess in a restaurant. A car drove by and stopped outside waiting for the light to turn green. The guy gets out, hauls his gf out and starts bashing her head into the hood of the car.
        I was freaking out, no one in the other cars did anything. I called the police, but he threw here back into the car and drove off. So yeah, I wouldn’t have confronted the guy, but I damn well called the cops the instant I saw the violence going on. That incident horrifies me to this day.

        I really hope that jerk met his match someday.

  24. RHONYC says:

    Nigella goes from losing her 1st husband who couldn’t beat cancer to the 2nd husband who resents and beats her. this sh*t is totally f*cked up!

    like wtf? 8O

  25. Sloane Wyatt says:

    Thank you for publishing this. I sincerely hope Nigella leaves her abuser safely and that someday our world will progress beyond the culture of endemically harming women, children, animals, – anyone who is ‘weaker’.

  26. TQB says:

    So distressing. I am a fan of hers for many years but even if she was a stranger, this is horrible. Where’s Patrick Stewart when you need him?

  27. Tig says:

    I agree with (apparently) no one calling the cops, or a waiter or some staff coming over to break up this situation- that should have happened. However, a third party interjecting him or herself into this situation could have escalated into violence against the intervenor. Don’t know what gun laws are in UK, but in US- you never know who is packing what where. Domestic violence is hideous, but it’s also volatile. Call the authorities.

    And this jerk is 70- what must he have been like in his 30s? !

  28. Micki says:

    I wonder for how long this has been going behind closed doors. No way it happens first time in public.

  29. boredbrit says:

    I’ve grown up watching Nigella and my mum and I were so upset after we saw at the pictures. It infuriates me that no one intervened, having said this, I wouldn’t say chivalry is dead in the UK. Its honestly luck, whether the people around you have enough courage to stop someone like him. Nigella has actually described him as ‘an exploder’ in the past and that she deals with him by just keeping quiet and letting it blow over. I think he knows she loves him dearly and plays that to his advantage. I’m actually getting a bit teary just thinking about it.

  30. Ag says:

    And no one intervened?! Or called the police?! What the f is wrong with people!?!? Goes to show how socially acceptable domestic violence is.

  31. pfeiffer87 says:

    She wrote in one of her books that her Mum abused her as a child – and so the cycle of domestic abuse continues, she wrote that because of the way her Mum treated her and the fear she felt that she’s spent all her life trying to please people. So heartbreaking.

  32. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    This makes me so sad. I really like Nigella and her lust for life and love of food. I agree with everyone above who said good for Celebitchy for covering this story. Domestic violence can happen to anyone and it needs to be exposed. I hope she leaves the marriage forever and that he’s prosecuted for assault. Illustrating a point…that you’re an immature, out of control, narcissistic bully? Point taken.

  33. Faye says:

    Domestic violence really does cross all boundaries. Nigella’s a talented, successful, financially independent (and awesome IMO) woman, but here she is tied to this abusvie a-hole. I agree that he must be doing much worse to her in private, if he feels so free to do this in public.

    I know the tabs have done a lot of harm, but hopefully, in this case it will do some good. Maybe by being forced to face this abuse publicly, Nigella can leave Saatchi for good.

    I still can’t believe that people just stood by and took pictures and gave interviews about this, and nobody got up to try and intervene. What a world we live in.

  34. VioletCrumble says:

    I’m leaving Sydney for London on Saturday. I’ll gladly go around and towel up this twat. He definitely needs a decent and thorough arse-kicking, and I’m just the bird to do it.

    • EscapedConvent says:

      VioletCrumble, this is not the worst idea I’ve heard on the subject. Everything I’ve ever read about Charles Saatchi points to him being an irritable, hotheaded bully. It sounds like Nigella spends far too much energy placating him & avoiding his tantrums.

      This is yet another painful example of how a child who is trained to accept abuse from a parent will carry this into their adult life & be drawn to partners who are probably impossible to please, & around whom one must tiptoe, or risk their ugly wrath. This parent-child dynamic is effortless to set up. I had a mother like this, too, & the hook is deep. A child with an angry, depressed and/or rampaging mother must develop coping & survival skills that no child should have to do. One never knows when Mummy is going to lose her sh*t, & it certainly looks like Nigella never knows when her creep husband is going to do either. It usually takes years of therapy to break this chain, & some people never do.

      Nigella Lawson has far too much going for her to waste another week of her life on this nasty creep, I don’t care how much cash he has. She has her own money, her own career & her children. She is not dependent upon him financially, but it sounds like she is emotionally co-dependent.

      I agree with everyone here that it’s probably good that this abuse happened in public—she is more likely to take it as seriously as it should be taken, & not want to be permanently labeled an abused, battered woman. Saatchi will be viewed as a nasty jerk with self-control issues, & that doesn’t bother me one bit.

      Sounds like Nigella could do with some time on her own clearing her head. (But if word gets around that she is single again, there will be elegant gentleman queueing up all over Belgravia.)

      Also, I’m disgusted that no one sitting near them reacted. Someone could have quietly called police at the very least. A waiter, who was already nearby, could have interrupteed the tirade with a chirpy “Would you rich people like to see the dessert menu?!” & this might have de-fused things.

      Right, I didn’t mean to write an essay. I love Nigella & have been watching her shows since the very first series. I wish her the very best in separating from a disrespectful creep & learning to live as her own dignified self. If she gets involved with someone again, she won’t have to go on repeating her terrible childhood nightmare.

      Very best wishes to Nigella & her kids.

  35. Merritt says:

    I’m not surprised no one did anything. People want to think they would intervene, but in reality people typically don’t.

    Women have reported being attacked by men they don’t know in daylight with other people around. When asked why no one did anything, some people responded that they thought the man and woman were a couple. WTF does that have to do with anything? If you see someone attacked, you should call the police at the very least. I can see why people don’t want to get physically involved, but at least call for help.

  36. Mandy says:

    That’s awful. Hopefully this creep will be punished to the full extent of the law and Nigella will leave and never look back.

  37. Jess says:

    While it’s good if these images make her leave, they put her in a horrible postion professionally. If she stays and defends Saatchi, there’s a good chance people will eventually turn on her (and thus stop buying what she’s selling). If she leaves, no matter what she does with the rest of her life, she’ll always be the poster child for DV, which apart from anything else, doesn’t fit her brand.

    I can’t imagine what she’s dealing with right now. I know she’s not big in the US, but she has quite an empire built around her name, so on top of her personal turmoil she’ll be having to handle crisis talks about her business.

    I can’t help but think the coverage is going to pull her back to him. Trying to make a DV victim turn against their partner before their ready to take that step usually has the opposite effect.

  38. tracking says:

    I read somewhere he once questioned why any man would want to marry a woman other men didn’t covet(!) Guess that’s why he dumped wife#2 for Nigella–a more attractive possession. It seems she married him at a vulnerable time and has childhood issues to boot. Hope she leaves.

  39. L.S. says:

    She won’t stay gone. Sadly, I’ve seen it time and again. She was abused by her mother, and so she lives with an abuser now. It’s sad, but it’s true.

    And he won’t do time for the crime. He’s too rich. He’ll pay someone off.

  40. Cam S says:

    Wow, this old man must seriously mess with her head. No way would some man put his hands on me like that (especially in a public setting) and walk away with his arm intake. The closest knife I could find would have been slicing away at his manhood.
    Her eyes, wow, they look totally submissive, like that of a captured woman. Not a wife.

  41. JudyK says:

    Love Nigella. He’s a control freak…most such men are bullies.

  42. Ari says:

    This was a good day for the papparazzi maybe the only one because now they will be investigating it since there are pictures out there POOR WOMAN i gasped at those pics she should divorce him ASAP what a douch$!

  43. Minx2 says:

    OMG. This is so sad. If he does it in public, imagine what goes on behind closed doors! She looks like a trapped animal. I also have a 17 year old son, like Nigella. She can’t have her kids watch her be humiliated and abused like that. My mother was abused by my stepfather and I defended her even though I was a kid (12 and 15 at the time). She should leave him now, before it’s too late. What a despicable a##!!

  44. Kim1 says:

    So if she gets back with her husband will she receive the backlash like Rihanna I doubt it. Both are beautiful, multi millionaires who grew up in abusive homes.RiRi was 20 at the time of her incident this lady is 50.I guess we need pics of the other times he abused her in the privacy of their home.That coupled with their reconciliation will cause backlash NOT.I remember commemts about RiRi not being like most DV victims because she is rich she is not financially. dependent.Well that applies to Nigella .too.Hopefully people will realize this is a complex issue and All DV and abuse survivors need compassion

    • gefeylich says:

      Yeah, they need compassion, but it’s all but impossible to understand why either of them put up with abuse. Rhianna is a little easier to understand – she’s pretty much an idiot – but Nigella is highly educated, comes from a good family, has lived a privileged life and was a respected writer before her culinary career. She of all people does not need to stand for abuse.

      She also has children who probably witnessed some of this abuse, which is totally unforgivable. It’s not as if she had no where else to go when Saatchi started abusing her – she probably still owns her houses in London, and her sister, brother and father live there (all fairly wealthy). This is what makes this so baffling.

      Yeah, yeah, abusers use manipulation and mind games to control their victims, but Nigella couldn’t figure them out? This makes no sense at all.

      • Anne o'neame says:

        It isn’t supposed to make sense if you haven’t experienced abuse. Intelligence and wealth aren’t enough in these cases. I’m sorry you have a hard time empathizing. It doesn’t take much to then blame the abused.

      • pwal says:

        I wouldn’t say that Rihanna’s an idiot… I think that she’s young and misguided. As a Black female, there has been this long-held bit of propaganda indicating that Black women can and should be the salvation for Black men, including the really damaged ones. My mother fostered that belief in me, or rather, protecting the males who are blood relations, hence my bolt when I was 18 and the hesitation in going back to my hometown because the pampering received by my mother rendered the males in the family utterly useless and a burden. Therefore, I remain happily single and drama-free.

        As for intervening, as I stated in a previous thread, I relayed a story about a downstairs neighbor getting her @$$ kicked by her boyfriend. Well, she just had his kid, meaning that most of the calls I made to the cops were during her pregnancy. Learning that is demoralizing because she wouldn’t answer the door whenever the cops knocked, but it will not stop me from calling the cops. But unfortunately, now my neighbor across the hall is going through this. I saw her getting chased across the parking lot early Saturday morning. Fortunately, the police was called and the guy was taken in; unfortunately, the neighbor below her was the one who made the call when the beater tried to climb to the apartment using her balcony. I don’t know if the neighbor/caller has grounds to file breaking and entering/trespassing charges, but she was fired up enough about it to make me think that she will follow through on it. And today, I called the main office and told them about the incident and yet again, they said that they can’t intervene in domestic issues and they wouldn’t say how many incidents would warrant an eviction for lease violations.

        It’s amazing to me how much victims are willing to take, but I have to say that my sympathy for them is diminishing, mainly because their passivity and later their unwillingness to cooperate in the resolution of their problems. And frankly, their problems become the problems of anyone who tries to help. Last week on Inside Edition, there was a story about a teacher and her children being asked to leave the school that the woman taught at and the children attended because they were concerned about the behavior of the ex-husband. While I watched, I sat there, wondering if the teacher’s enthusiasm towards suing the school was as immediate and exact as her putting out her abusive husband.

        Fcuked up to think, but witnessing abuse, even indirectly, and the victim seemingly does little or nothing to end it, can do a number on anyone, mentally.

      • Kath says:

        Hi pwal,

        That’s really interesting about expectations towards males/females in the black community.

        It also seems to be a wider trend where women place certain demands on their daughters and none on their sons.

        I recall reading a story in the Daily Fail about a woman who drove across the UK to clean up the flat that her son and his university flatmates had rendered a pig sty.

        My first thought was that there was no way on EARTH she would do that for a daughter, who would be seen as slovenly and disgusting for letting her apartment get in such a state. Yet for young men, mothers seem to find it adorable when they act helpless and clueless.

        ..And if I sound bitter, it might be because I have three older brothers. But take a wild guess who has ended up looking after our elderly parents?

  45. aenflex says:

    No one deserves this. Period.
    On a semi-relative note though, what’she doing married to a (millionaire) guy who’s what, 35-40 years older than her?

  46. He issued a statement saying it was a playful tiff and her tears were due to how much she hates arguing.

  47. Dedrie says:

    She loves misery.. lots of drama.. flighty foolish mind games with danger, push someone too far drama and getting people mad and disruptive by being too kind, compromising and understanding.. seems harmless.. but she’s competitive and gloats, in a modest, oh dear me, shocked [not] am I? way.. let him go and do your own thing, seek a mature, normal mate if you must have one.. and be happy lady.. same for Halle Berry

    • bluhare says:

      As I just said, there’s always a dynamic at play, but are you really saying it was OK for him to throttle her??

      If so, I hope you never invite me to dinner.

    • sauvage says:

      You know what, even if the girlfriend/wife was a class A drama queen – there is no excuse for abuse. None. These are growna** people. He could have left her any time of the day IF the part about her being a drama lover is even correct, which, honestly, I doubt. I don’t know her, I don’t know him, but I do know first hand about the dynamics of abuse and there is just no f***ing excuse for it.

      The End.

      Bluhare, wanna join me for dinner?

    • mercyme says:

      I’ve known people like this. They have super low self-esteem, often relating to abandonement issues and witnessing volatile relationships during their formative years. They equate jealousy and possessive behaviour with love and seek to control and manipulate.

      However, when it spirals out of control to the point of physical abuse, that’s the responsibility of the person who strikes the first blow. I know words can cut, but there’s simply no excuse for physical violence, especially against a weaker person, unless someone’s life is in danger.

      If another person can reduce them to that kind of behaviour, they need to get the hell out and deal with their own issues before they do something they’re going to regret for the rest of their lives. Focusing on the issues and behaviour of the person who provoked them doesn’t help.

  48. lucy2 says:

    I feel sad for her. I’m glad she left – hope she stays away. As hard as it is to have this public, hopefully that might keep her from giving in and going back to him.

    I can understand many people not wanting to physically step in, but for heaven’s sake, I can’t believe no one called the police.

  49. Madpoe says:

    So its better to stand there and take pix than help a woman out? Scummy just like her husband.

  50. yeahright says:

    This is just sad. Even if he wasn’t full on attacking her no point needs to be proved or illustrated that way. The only people who do that are people who are abusive and do attack when angered.

  51. original almond says:

    This is sickening, but at least it’s shedding some more light on DV which, for some reason, is still taboo.
    The fact that she left after the photos were published shows how closely linked DV is with victim blaming and shaming. Public humiliation is the last straw usually, so if the situation isn’t exposed by someone else, it carries on indefinitely. And it’s all because we associate the stigma of DV with the victim and not the abuser. I may be grossly over-generalizing but that’s the pattern I’ve seen so far.

  52. Tulip says:

    I adore Nigella. To see her husband physically hurt her and humiliate her makes me angry and helpless, because I could totally see her staying with him, because that how dv usually goes down. I will therefore hope that she DOES leave and if she won’t, I hope he dies of natural causes very soon. He’s old enough. All of it is an awful situation.

  53. K says:

    From the guardian:
    “He explained it was “an intense debate about the children” in which, he said, “I held Nigella’s neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasise my point.” He went on:

    “There was no grip, it was a playful tiff. The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place. Nigella’s tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt.

    We had made up by the time we were home. The paparazzi were congregated outside our house after the story broke yesterday morning, so I told Nigella to take the kids off till the dust settled.”"

    Giant eye roll.

  54. Karen says:

    I once intervened in a grocery store parking lot when I saw a man and woman physically struggling inside a car with the woman constantly honking the horn with a leg or arm or whatever she could. The employees called 911 but I was stunned by the number of people, mostly men, just standing there watching. I remember thinking to myself, “I’m not going to stand here and watch this man kill this woman and I’m not going to drive away and hear about her death on the news.” I drove over in my car and asked if she was okay (stupid question) She said no she wasn’t okay but he wasn’t hitting her, they seemed to be struggling over something, but her clothes were coming off in the process. By the time I got out of my car, they were in the backseat still struggling. About that time, another woman came over and we both looked on the passenger seat and saw a hand gun and bullets. Apparently that’s what they were struggling over, him getting and loading the gun. Right then the police arrived and as they were running toward us, I calmly said “there’s a gun” and they took appropriate precautions. Things got all CSI, with the little numbered flags around bullets I previously hadn’t noticed on the pavement. Two observations: 1) Why was it that two women came to this woman’s aid while a bunch of Tennessee farm boys with guns in their trucks just stood and watched? 2) I am very lucky that the only harm to me was my melted Ben & Jerry’s. But I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Also, men are mostly useless.

    • UsedToBeLulu says:

      Yikes Karen. Sometimes I think men have some code of not interfering between a man and woman. I’d like to think that they might have intervened if it looked like he was going to kill her, but that’s probably wishful thinking. Good for you and that other woman!

      • Karen says:

        I don’t want to give any of the bystanders a pass, but it wasn’t apparent from a distance that her life was in imminent danger, just that something bad was happening. So hopefully more people would have acted if the circumstances were more obvious. There was one man who left with a child, he said to his son “don’t look, just get in the car”… I’ll give him a pass because his first priority has to be his child.

  55. Jane says:

    I saw the pictures and was horrified. I hope she presses charges and finds a decent man.

  56. Hahahahaha says:

    its was not the first time.She doenst depend on him financially.She packed her bags &left their house with her son.But SAD SHE HAD TO LEAVE BECAUSE the PICS LEAKED.otherwise…she would still be in for a choke, i guess.(dont mean that in a funny way)

  57. Hahahahaha says:

    PS: i would’ve jumped him, if I saw them fighting…I WOULD!!

  58. Londongal says:

    I found these pictures hugely distressing and they really struck a chord. The main thing here is that he is actively embarrassing and humilating her. His comments made a few hours ago about him grabbing her throat FOUR times during a ‘playful tiff’ to ‘emphasise his point’ are tantamount to him saying ‘I’m an abusive c***’. It’s her reaction that is most telling in these photos and her distress in public. I am also pretty certain that she has said in interviews about her childhood with her mentally unstable abusive Mother that as a result she never cries, so for her to cry like that in public is doubly awful. I hope to God this pushes her to leave and realise she’s a beautiful woman men would kill to be with and protect, not belittle and abuse. I also add that there are *many* women and men in London who like me, wouldn’t have stood by and watched, although at least there are plenty of photos as proof so he can’t wriggle out of this.

  59. Jayna says:

    Very, very sad and hard to look at. And too bad there aren’t any real men anymore who would step in when seeing that going on. It’s obviously not the first time this has happened in their marriage, considering he would do such a thing in public.

    I saw her on WWHL with Andy Cohen a month or two ago, and she was stunningly beautiful. She’s 53. All I can say is Gwynneth, with all her food advice and bragging about her gorgeous skin and exercise, should look at what really great skin is and shiny, thick, glossy hair not damaged, and she’s ten years older than Gwynneth or more.

  60. tabasco says:

    first of all, i adore nigella. she is a crack-up, beautiful, and i love that her show ends with her raiding the fridge in a robe at night. she does nice recipes w/o being precious about it.

    this stuff is scary as hell. i dated a guy for about 6 months who was never violent with me, but it became clear to me that he had a drinking problem and saw himself as “the boss” when it came to women. i chucked him. he then had some work trouble (due to the drinking) and got into a relationship with a high drama chick, an instigator type, and also a drinker. well, that extremely healthy combination wound up in some sort of fight and his being charged. who did he call first? moi. he told me it was one charge of assault. i looked it up – - it was five charges, one of which included choking. i’ve since learned that he lied constantly. also an english guy, incidentally. i think the psychological term is “decompensation”, where the person has previously been able to hide various pathologies but things start to mount and they become unable to hide them and generally start to fall apart, including, for some, showing a greater propensity for violence. that experience scared the living hell out of me b/c his descent started just as we split (was the cause of it) and i’ve sometimes thought, my god, i suppose he could’ve gotten violent with me, holy sh*t.

    point being, i guess: ladies, GET THE F*CK OUT.

  61. hend says:

    This woman has had such tragedy in her life. Her sister died, her first husband died- she loved him so much. Its sad. I hope she has the sense to leave this loser, and I hope everyone he knows see’s these photos

  62. Sam says:

    His excuse is BS, I can tell you right now. My husband and I do martial arts classes for kids as a rec center. On occassion, we need to demonstrate a hold or a grip around the neck. It is done so gently that the person being grabbed does not react to it at all (it is also done slowly and with the person’s full consent). He is not placing his hand on her neck – he is squeezing her, which is clear from her face. And there is no viable excuse for it.

  63. littlestar says:

    Holy sh*t, this is crazy! I absolutely adore Nigella Lawson, and from all I’ve read of her in the press, it sounded like she had a happy second marriage. It just goes to show you that you never really know what goes on in peoples lives. I cannot believe what a hateful man her husband seems like! I hope he receives some kind of punishment for this. Nigella is such a warm person, it’s one of the reasons I love watching her cooking shows. I’m shaking my head here that her husband would be JEALOUS of her success. Wow. Just mind boggling. Truly a sad pathetic man.

  64. Reece says:

    The DM article said her her mom was abusive to her so I’m guessing this a pattern.
    Also I noticed he stopped “emphasizing his point” and left when she spotted the camera.
    SOB

  65. gg says:

    Escape him please, Nigella. This man is a disgusting bully.

  66. Debbie says:

    I don’t know. There is something scripted and staged about it.

  67. Mew says:

    Nigella girl get out. Get out now. Do whatever it takes, no matter how much it hurts and you’ll see that the world keeps rolling and you’ll be fine. You deserve so much more than this asshole.

  68. A.P. says:

    The sad thing is, in many cases like this, even intervening doesn’t help.

    Last December,my group of friends were waiting for a cab when a couple walked by clearly arguing. She had bruises all over her arms and they had both been drinking. Towards the end of our block, he pushed her into a little alleyway and she screamed. So two of my guy friends went to stand there, they didn’t say anything, they just walked over and stood near the alley so that guy knew that there were people watching should he have any bad intentions. That guy had the girl shoved up against a wall and she was struggling to get away. So what does the guy do? He comes over, starts yelling at my friends for being nosy and punches my friend in the face. Also, during this time, the girl also starts yelling my friends for not minding their own business. This whole time, my friends hadn’t said a word to them. We obviously called the police and when they were questioned…..he said that MY friends assaulted them BOTH and that’s how that girl had bruises on here arm. She even agreed with him.

    It was such a mess. All we wanted to do was make sure the girl was ok and in the end they ended up blaming my friend. Thankfully, the police saw right through their BS but intervening only helps when there is no psychological component to the abuse.

    The way Nigella was trying to calm him down, it’s obvious this is something she deals with frequently and had anyone intervened, I bet she would have stuck up for him. It’s such a sad situation all around. (This is not victim blaming, just trying to point out that intervening only works in purely physical abuse cases.)I feel like the having the pictures be published might have been even better in this situation that someone stopping him right then and there. I get the feeling that had anyone tried to stop, they both of played it off like it was a misunderstanding with none of us ever knowing. These pictures essentially forced her to leave him for now. Nigella only left after the pictures were published, if this was just a purely physical abuse problem, she would have left right after the incident. *sigh* I hope she stays strong to his psychological abuse and moves on from this horrible horrible man.

    • Gigi_New says:

      Your guy friends tried to do the right thing, and maybe actually prevented something worse for the woman in that moment. I understand why you say that intervening in abuse is only okay if there is no psychological component, but there is a.l.w.a.y.s. a psychological component to abuse, that is how it gets to such a violent point. Usually, the safest way to stand up to abuse when you see it is not to get involved directly, but to call the authorities and file a complaint and so forth. It’s amazing to read how many have lived through abuse and how many have tried so hard to prevent it from escalating or continuing.

  69. chria says:

    this article affected me heavily. i literally cried for her and for the sorry supposed “humans” who walk by and do anything to stop it. the uk is not the only place this happens. im in the us and this happened to me. in a formal victim of domestic violence and i had an instance where my former abuser pushed me to the group a neighbor passed by and i looked at him pleeing in my eyes for help. he only said it was none of his business and kept walking. my abuser then said see how no one cares about you? still 7 years latee it haunts my memories and im distraught everytime a similar situation occurs. i’ll never be that person who keeps walking my business or not by you doing it in public you made it my business and i’ll be damned if i allow that behavior to occur. so many people just dont care and that hurts me so much. they could save someones life by simply calling the police or standing up. im not afraid of consequences i think my abuser if anything made me fearless to abusers. i dont put up with it and i hope people can change to find some form of humanity

  70. sauvage says:

    And… no.bo.dy. helped. Which is exactly why women are so scared to report abuse. Because nobody helps, it’s regarded as a private issue and oh she must have done something really bad to deserve this.

    F*** you, cowards. F*** you.

  71. anne o'neame says:

    When you’re deeply embedded in an abusive relationship, it’s hard to understand and accept that it’s not normal (to abuse or be abused). I can only hope that the public dissemination of these images will be change the situation enough for her to leave. Abusers gain a lot of power from thinking they aren’t accountable to anyone. It’s an awful cycle and so hard to stop for all parties involved. It seems like she has been experiencing abuse for a very long time. I hope she’s able to break the cycle.

  72. Apsutter says:

    Oh my…this is just awful!! I love Nigella and her show is such a bright spot in my day. She’s just so comforting and soothing and spending time watching her is just like be all cozy at home. I hope she can get away from this douchebag and leave his ass in the dust.

  73. tabasco says:

    no sane human being, let alone a man with any sense, “emphasizes his point” by wrapping his goddamn hand around a woman’s neck. even IF it was done without squeeze, it’s threatening as hell and clearly meant to be intimidating and controlling. the fact that he even put out that statement says something about him. i mean, what, people will be like, Ooohhh, never mind then, he was just underlining his point, carry on then. jackhole.

  74. Kate says:

    He should go to prison. A good start would be for his firm to lose a few top drawer clients over this. A public letter or two specifically pointing to this event as the reason for their leaving would be really great, and I’d make a point to do business with those people.

  75. jasmine says:

    i just saw the pics!!!!! why does she take it?????!!!! i used to have a friend like that and her boyfriend used to pull her hair and drag her on the floor, all the way to the entrance and she told us that she was really unhappy. as it turns out, she loved it and got so pissed at us for telling him he can no longer lay a hand on her. never spoke to any of us again!!!!! so i’m wondering if nigella isn’t a little bit off somehow……

  76. Dimebox says:

    In Houston there is a lovely boutique hotel created from a building that was once a bank. My husband and I looked forward to a weekend there a couple of years ago. But on the first night I began hearing sounds of a beating.I could hear fists hitting flesh clearly and cries of pain. At first we assumed that it must be a fight outside on the sidewalk below…but, no. It was coming from the bedroom next door. Then I could hear the woman sobbing. I called the front desk and asked them to send up security, that a woman was being badly beaten. After much convincing from me, a man was sent up. I could not hear what was said, but could hear that the people were moving out of the room. The next morning I went downstairs and asked the manager what had happened. He said that the man had been furious at being interrupted and having his privacy taken away. His wife had stayed in the bathroom but he had insisted she was fine. He also loudly insisted on being moved to a new room away from nosy neighbors like me. So they moved him. Then this manager said to me ” You need to remember that some women want that, and we try to not get involved.” I wanted to cry. I heard how hard he hit her. I heard her sobs. After the asshat manager walked away his front desk assistant quietly told me that when the couple checked out, the wife had worn long sleeves (in July) sunglasses, wouldn’t make eye contact, and seemed to be walking with pain. I hope she has gotten away, and I wish I had called the police instead of hotel security.

    • Gigi_New says:

      You are brave to have called for help, and the manager is gravely mistaken. No one wants to be treated like that, but the reason why not to leave? The psychological damage is already further along than the physical damage. If the woman leaves, the abuser threatens to target loved ones, even loved ones who they victims/survivors are isolated from. I know it’s hard to understand for many people, but why people do not leave such situations is deeply complicated.

    • Joanna says:

      omg, that is a horrible story. i cant believe that guy said that

  77. TheOriginalKitten says:

    If you’ve ever watched “I Survived” then you know that situations like this, where a woman’s life could be at risk and nobody steps in, happen all too often.

    On that show you hear about women getting abducted, driven to a secluded area, raped and tortured, only to somehow escape to a nearby road where she is passed by several motorists before someone finally stops to help.

    When I first started watching that show, I was really outraged and upset by these stories, thinking how callous, cruel, and selfish people can be– until I REALLY started to get honest with myself. If I was driving down a dark, secluded road with a small child in my car and a bloody, naked woman came screaming at me from out of nowhere, would I REALLY take a chance and stop? I’m not sure…I would call 911 most definitely but would I risk my child’s safety for a perfect stranger being chased by a violent mad man? The truth is that once you open that car door, you put yourself and anyone else in that vehicle in harm’s way and it’s inherently more frightening if you are a woman as we are generally more easily overpowered by men.

    Ultimately, I think people that are brave enough to open that door to a stranger are heroes, but I stop short of condemning those that take a less direct form of action, such as calling the police.
    It’s easy to judge from afar but I can imagine how quickly you have to react in that situation-trying to process what is happening and having to make a gut-wrenching decision in mere seconds. In the end, the person who should be held responsible is the perpetrator, not the innocent bystander(s) who have to make a split-second decision in a difficult situation. That being said, to do nothing is simply not acceptable. We should take care of one another but I also think that our responsibility is to keep ourselves and our families safe.

    I know instances of domestic violence are not all the same and I hope that I don’t sound callous, I just really believe in reserving judgment when it comes to dangerous scenarios like the one I described.

    • Lulu.T.O. says:

      You are not coming off as the least bit callous. It is impossible to know how one will react in some situations – quite honestly people get away with abuse because we can’t believe our eyes when it happens in front of us. “I can’t believe he is actually choking her in public, surely he must just be feeling her lymph nodes!” kind of a response.

      This whole subject has been deeply troubling to me and many others here who have suffered abuse, because it so clearly demonstrates how complicated the issue is. And there is no Knight in Shining Armour to ride in and save the day.

    • yeahright says:

      Definitely agree with you on this one!

  78. Maggie says:

    My ex husband used to do things like this to me in public and in front of my children. He had NPD and could not or would not control himself. So humiliating. People would just stare.

  79. tinatutor1221 says:

    I grew up in a home where my dad and paternal grandmother physically and emotionally abused my mom. I hope Nigella gets out.

  80. MonicaQ says:

    My mother, myself, and my toddler brother at the time were abused by my brother’s father all the time. At 113 I just snapped and as he’s choking my mother, I stabbed him. I got the beating of my life and wound up in Juvie (I was a 4.0 student, in band, played football, was by all accounts a normal girl) but I had been “violent” and caused a collapsed lung so I had to be locked up. My mother did nothing, just stayed, just let everything happen for another 2 years. I got out with my brother as soon as I could.

    So no, I don’t tolerate this type of shit. I’ve fought in public and intervened and you know what? I’ve been told “it’s not your problem, stop being nosey!” and conversely, “thank you. You’re the first person to ever do something.” It destroyed my life as a child and I’m no cape crusader but I’m 5’4, can bench half my body weight (107lbs) so short of a gun, I’m calling the police and then I’m doing something.

  81. Leslie says:

    This poor woman. I can’t imagine what goes on in private if he acts this way in public. She needs to press charges against him and ban him from their house until she can find a safe place to live.

  82. Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

    I love Nigella and I’m horrified for her. I hope she stays away from this jerk.

    I was once choked in public. Well, it started when I went to visit a close friend at her college. We went to a fraternity party, which was the only social life on her campus. There, a guy she knew well came in drunk and looking like he had been in a fight. He was a very popular, rich, good looking guy. He saw me, came over, and just grabbed my crotch. Just right there. no one did anything. i lifted up my hand to slap him, but he caught my hand with one hand (as he was quite a bit larger and stronger than I was) and grabbed my throat and started choking me with the other. I’ll never forget it–being in a room crowded with people–one of whom was supposed to be my close friend, and nobody did anything. He finally let go of me, and everyone crowded around HIM to make sure he was all right. I wish I had called the police, but I was on my own in a room full of people who were sticking together no matter what.

    • Gigi_New says:

      That is so scary; there was no warning from him either. I am sorry that people dismissed you at the party and checked on him. Unfortunately, this is all to common. I am glad that you are alive, and don’t be too hard on yourself for not reporting him – that kind of situation makes a person very vulnerable.

      • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

        Thank you for the kind words…I think I was so stunned that I had been assaulted that I didn’t even know what to do. Plus, my own reactions were not being verified by others around me, which is confusing.

  83. Gigi_New says:

    Choking is what you do on food; he strangled her. Strangulation is one step away from an abuser killing their victim and is not the first type of violence an abuser uses -meaning he has been doing this for awhile. Also, once the abuser begins to strangle it will not stop. I finally left my ex after I was told at the rate the abuse was going (frequency of strangulation) I would have, at the absolute most, a year and a half to live. Prayers for her and all his abuse victims to heal from such a horrifying life. I hope she survives him.

    • Lulu.T.O. says:

      Dear God, how horrible! And you are right of course. He is not just squeezing her airway, he is applying pressure to her carotid artery. In fact I would say that is his primary objective, seeing as how deep he has dug his fingers into the sides of her throat.

      Thank you for sharing. Thank everyone who has shared in this thread, for coming forward. I ran across this on a blog and thought it was interesting, even though it entails stepping in when you see children being abused.

      http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2012/01/03/parents-beat-kids-public-part-ii/

      • Gigi_New says:

        What an interesting blog, thank you for sharing. I have to say this part, ” I couldn’t tell how hard she was hitting him, but she was clearly out of control” is a misconception of abusers. People generally think abusers are out of control when, in fact, they are very much in control and know exactly what they are doing. This author, however, is now a man I admire. It’s hard to intervene when you see abuse, but I am glad he did intervene for the children – even if to show the kids that the behavior is not okay.

    • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

      Thank God you left. How terrifying. I am so sorry you had to go through that but so glad you survived him. *many hugs to you*

  84. bluhare says:

    This is a horrible thread, but I’m glad it’s here, and I praise every one of you who had the guts to talk about your own experiences. It’ something that should be brought out of the shadows and into the public so everyone can see what happens in abusive homes.

    You’ve all made me cry, but it’s a good cry if you know what I mean.

  85. Dawn says:

    She has to leave him and that’s all there is to it. If she doesn’t leave him there is nothing anyone else can do. I feel so sad to see that she is willing staying with such a jerk. Guys like him are always violent with everyone and I wonder who else he is hitting and taking his bad moods out on?

  86. skuddles says:

    Disgusting that no one did a thing to help her! You can bet your ass if I had witnessed that I would have been in that guy’s face in a milisecond.

    That POS needs a good hard kick in the crotch… or ten.

  87. Maggie says:

    I read a book called Life with Billy. I could not believe the abuse this woman suffered. I think she was the first woman in Canada who shot her husband and was found not guilty because of the physical abuse. The abuse was horrifying! A good read if youre up to it.

  88. Ginger says:

    Oh my so sad. my hubby is a former police officer and I work in a law office with Domestic violence advocates. If we were witnessing something like that I don’t think we would be able to stay out of it. I don’t understand English laws but I’m shocked no one intervened.

  89. Sarah says:

    This is such a horrific story. So many women have these relationships, I was in one for almost a decade and this story is so painful to read about. My ex would make me cry in restaurants on a regular basis, I blamed myself for making him “angry”. It’s a sign of a dysfunctional, co dependent relationship and I hope this is enough for her to leave before something really bad happens.

  90. Kim says:

    The fact that no one said anything to him & just watched is appalling! I would have intervened! To people who say it isnt their business b.s.! Domestic violence (like child abuse) is everyone business & if you see it happening you have the right (and duty as a human) to intervene. This guy is a piece of crap and should be treated as such!

  91. Kelly says:

    So he strangles her in public then she leaves in a car with him? And only leaves the house when the photos ate published? She has 2 kids and stayed with a violent man. It is hard for me to find sympathy for her.

    • strickchic says:

      This comment makes me sad. It is so easy to judge her when you have no clue what goes on in her life. Obviously you have never been in any sort of abusive relationship. There are so many factors that go into it and all you can say is you can not feel sorry for her. Well, I feel sorry for you for having no empathy.

    • Londerland says:

      Have you ever read anything, ever, about domestic violence? About how insidious it is, about how hard it is to leave an abusive partner? About how the abuser wrecks their victim’s self-esteem to such an extent that they feel they deserve nothing better? You really need to educate yourself, and show a little sympathy.

      If this incident in the restaurant (and her previous descriptions of him as an “exploder” who she had to keep quiet to avoid provoking) are fair examples of their relationship, it seems his abuse is mostly verbal and intimidatory, with threats of violence rather than outright beatings. It’s easy, if you’re a victim of that sort if behaviour, to think it’s not really abuse, he didn’t mean it, he lost his temper, you provoked him, etc etc. Maybe the fact that this incident has been made public – with the condemnation it has drawn – is precisely what has helped her to recognise that it’s not normal, not acceptable, and that she doesn’t have to stay silent and wait for it to blow over anymore.

    • Suze says:

      I have sympathy for her. I bet she was humiliated and embarassed and frightened.

      You have no idea how you would react in that situation.

  92. Brit says:

    Thank you for reporting this with the lines “no one step in” or “reported it”. It’s been all over the UK newspapers with pictures over the weekend but not one paper has questioned why no one stepped in.

    Reason why I do not buy news papers. Thank god for the Internet and freedom to choose (well sort of off).

  93. Noinin says:

    I love Nigella’s shows and was really sad to read this. She has probably seen worse behind closed doors. I really hope she leaves that abusive husband of hers. And to reply to some really ignorant comments, it’s hard to leave an abusive household, even if you have kids. She got with that guy soon after her first husband’s death and he was a friend of his, so she probably relied on him a lot in the beginning and must find it hard to believe that she can be just fine by herself.

  94. Viggo says:

    What a useless piece of shit. She should have beat the shit out of him, She looks like she can clearly take his rickety ass. Obviously, She loves him far more than he loves her, or himself . I hope he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the British Law, and hopefully, she cooperates. I’m so sick of these stories, and doubly ashamed of people not acting in defense of the victim. It’s no longer good enough for the victims of these acts to get away from their abuser, we need stricter laws so these mongrels are not allowed to walk our streets, enough is enough already.

  95. Jennifer12 says:

    So glad this piece of garbage was caught out and has the photos to prove it.

  96. Rialto says:

    ATTEMPTED MURDER. Say it with me.

  97. LL2 says:

    Poor Nigella :( She is such an amazing woman and she doesn’t deserve this. I hope she leaves him and gets some help.

  98. Chrissy says:

    I am afraid for her. I don’t know if anyone intervening for her (other than actual law enforcement) would have helped because she probably would have refused to go against her husband. And even the police won’t do much unless the woman asks to have the man arrested.

  99. *Roxy* says:

    When I was 7 I had an incident involving a drunk 20+ guy hitting me in a public place out of nowhere. I remember no passer-by intervened. I felt so humilated and lost faith in humanity back then.

    • Gage says:

      Roxy, I’m sorry that happened to you. I have a 7 year old daughter. If an adult hit her, that would be the end of them.

      I believe in karma. You know that loser who would hit a child is probably in prison, dead, or living a miserable life in a nasty, disease-infested trailer park, right?

  100. Simply Red says:

    I wish I was there, I would of intervened and pimp slap the old man…

    She has a knife and fork at the table, they can be used as weapons…

    SMH- that old spineless piece of crap

  101. KayLastima says:

    In British terms, he’s a sodding c**t!!

    Why is he not in jail as this is not the first time he has made his point in this manner?

  102. dj says:

    I get so angry at this man having the disgusting entitlement to choke his wife even in public. It gives me so much information at how far this violence has gone (just my opinion) already. I am very sad that she has so much fear and low sense of self. I would have intervened and probably would’ve gotten shot or punched or something.

  103. Amber says:

    This makes me so sad. I love Nigella, she is so beautiful I don’t know why she would tolerate that old bastard. I hope she finds the strength to leave him for good.

  104. MeWhat says:

    Intervening should be the correct approach to situations like these but the problem nowadays is that the bully that usually starts the confrontation becomes the sheepish victim once authorities get involved. This is particularly dangerous for the intervener if the bully decides to become physically abusive.

    Picture this Saatchi coward if he was ever called out, or worse, physically forced off his wife’s throat. The first thing he would do is claim that he had been assaulted. The second thing he would do is unleash his attack dog lawyers at the Samaritan, making his/her life miserable.

    Kudos to the person who took the photos though. No doubt the court of public opinion will judge him harshly and fairly. Certainly this will hurt his ad agency’s image.

  105. Michael Kelly says:

    Her son is 17 years old. That old man is lucky he did not get a severe beat down. I hope she never goes back. Public pressure alone should be enough to make her think twice about it.

  106. Jennifer12 says:

    So the paps who took these photos profited off her abuse and fear, but didn’t even bother to call 911 (or whatever you call in England)? Why is no one arresting this man for attempted murder or spousal abuse?? I may not have physically stepped in but I would’ve called 911.

  107. Just Me says:

    I don’t have time to go through all these comments, but I hope one day soon somebody kicks this fucking douchebag in the nuts. Very hard. Preferably with a sledgehammer. Or a wrecking ball. Twice. And then again for good measure.

    If he did this in public, what do you think he did behind closed doors? Hopefully this is embarrassing enough that she stays away. 10 years is a long time to stay with someone who not only physically harms you, but tears you apart mentally. Sounds like this son of a b*tch did both. She was probably so deep into battered spouse syndrome that she’s going to need some pretty intense therapy to go beyond this.

    Just goes to show, domestic violence is absolutely EVERYWHERE.

    Edit: I just saw the pics. He pinched her effin nose after he choked her!! M*therf*cker!!!!

  108. aquarius64 says:

    This situation along with the pictures sicken me. I hope Nigella gets out of that house and stays out, seeks counseling for the trauma, and gets a good divorce attorney. I hope this mess doesn’t drive her to find other ways to use her kitchen knives; for this jackhole is not worth the consequences of such an act.

  109. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    In defense of the other patrons, we don’t know if they saw any physical abuse or just heard arguing. I think I would probably turn to gawk if I heard them arguing, but some people might just try to ignore it and not stare at the couple. (Except the person who took the photos, they obviously saw it). And, neighboring patrons might have been elderly or afraid to get involved physically. Also, it’s not unheard of that if someone else intervenes without the victims having asked for help, not only does the aggressor turn on the intervenor, but the VICTIM often turns on the intervenor as well. My brother-in-law can tell you many stories of this when he responded to domestic complaints (called in by neighbors, not the victim).

    However, if the incident had been more severe, I would hope the witnesses would have called the police, even if intervening themselves is not prudent.

  110. la chica says:

    No one intervened probably because of who she is. No one would believe that such a wealthy privileged woman would be afraid of her elderly husband. Then again, everyone says “leave” but no one says “come”.

  111. Michelle says:

    I love Nigella, she has always been a cross between Dita Von Teese and Christina Hendricks to me… and she enjoys cooking and eating too! I’ve heard she is a very fun person, and I’d love to hang with her. All this to say, I’m a fan, and I really hope she gets out of this crummy marriage. She deserves better.

  112. Joanna says:

    She looks a lot younger than her age. she’s beautiful. I hope she leaves him for good

  113. pato says:

    Someone should have “choked” his balls.
    And maybe we are lucky and the douchbag crashes on his private plane *fingers crossed*
    all abusers should die slowly and in pain. no mercy for them.

  114. RdyfrmycloseupmrDvlle says:

    Clearly Nigella knows better. She has reflected on her childhood and she has spoken about her husband as an “exploder.”
    She fully knows way better. Something else is at play here because she has plenty of money to go off and live on her own, in peace with her children. And, her children are who I feel sorry for. I cant imagine the verbal abuse, or worse, they must hear living with this guy.
    I watched my mother be absued like this on an almost daily basis. This incident here with Nigella is NOTHING compared to what my Mom went through…and the sounds, the SOUNDS, of abuse..the crying, the begging, the whimpering are whats ever worse to listen to.
    My mother never had the courage to leave and she was dirt poor. The anger I have felt towards my mother for not removing us from that situation. I hated my mother for years for playing the martre.
    Nigella has oodles of money of her own. She doesnt need this creep. How can she subject her children to this tension and diyfunction? Grow a spine Nigella and do the right thing by them if not for yourself!!!

  115. Minx2 says:

    I showed the photos to my husband and he said “there is no such thing as choking someone for “fun”.. only violent people with killer instincts go for the throat”. I agree. If someone loses control when they’re having a row over something, a more natural thing seems to be a slap (not that I condone it!) but grabbing a woman’s throat is a whole different level. Besides, he tortures her emotionally and puts her down (her food for ex). A legacy from her home, I’m afraid. Very hard to get away when one has issues from childhood.

  116. Flower says:

    Not long ago Nigella gave an interview about her life in general, it seemed like the usual celeb interview except for a couple of instances where she was talking about her husband.

    Basically he was belittling her and she was just laughed it off which gave me a very creepy feeling. For instance she is a celebrated gourmet cook but her husband called her food crap and preferred to eat out and that he called her a moron when it came to art (he is a huge collector modern art, especially of what I call ‘Emperors new clothes art’ such as a pickled shark in a tank) and that she had very different tastes in interior décor but he always got his way.

    It seems she has been a doormat for a lot of their marriage, perhaps this will be a wakeup call for her, maybe now that everyone knows what a b**stard he is she won’t feel the need to pretend otherwise anymore.

  117. Hakura says:

    I think her fame gets to him because her success means she’ll never be financially dependent on him. This takes away a big advantage he could’ve used against her (both to put her down, & use to threaten her into staying in the relationship).

    Plus he’s a control freak, & her business/career is something in which *he* is not in control, which is probably infuriating to him. Her life doesn’t revolve around him & his wants. Then, of course, he’s jealous.

    As to standing by while someone is in trouble, I could *never* do that. My mental & emotional first response is automatically to get involved somehow. But I have a temper, would likely be outraged by someone’s disgusting behavior, & come in aggressively, which (as Teehee so eloquently put it) would likely *not* be the best way to help.

    Her list of tips is certainly the way to go, which I’ll keep in mind. It just boggles my mind to think people can really *do* that, let these things happen.

    What about them? What happens when it’s *you* or *your children* in desperate need of help? Why should expect any different?

  118. Gage says:

    As a victim of dv, I feel badly for her. That is a scary situation to be in, and there are people feet away unwilling to help or call for help.

    Also, it’s disgusting that the Facebook generation (thank you to the above poster for this name) always take photos or record video instead of helping the victim. That is mind-bottling. (Nod to Will Ferrell) ;)

  119. T says:

    It’s ironic that we’re capable of finding so much sympathy for Nigella for not leaving, yet women on this forum have been calling rihanna a “dumbass” and a “slut” and “whore” “idiot” for not leaving Chris Brown. Unless you’ve been in a domestic abuse situation, you won’t know that it is hard to leave for anyone–hence the statistic of the victims going back to the abuser 8 or 9 times average. I feel bad for all the women out there who are unable to get away from an abusive relationship, and I truly hope they all do.