Nigella Lawson stops wearing wedding ring, feels ‘pressure’ to leave Saatchi

Charles Saatchi

Here are photos of Nigella Lawson’s husband, Charles Saatchi, leaving a London restaurant all by his lonesome a few evenings ago. Don’t you feel sorry for the poor bastard? Yeah, me neither. It was only Monday when we covered the shocking photos from the Mirror that showed Nigella being choked in public by Saatchi. She had tears in her eyes and was clearly disturbed, but Saatchi explained it away as merely “a playful tiff that served to “illustrate a point,” and he walked away from a police interrogation with only a caution. A few hours after the photos surfaced in the Mirror on Sunday, Nigella was photographed leaving her marital home with her teenage son, Bruno, in tow; reports indicated that she did not leave of her own volition but because Saatchi suggested she do so until the scandal blew over a little bit.

Now the Mail says that Nigella has been living with her sister this week and has also removed her wedding ring although they do not provide photo evidence to corroborate their addition to the story. I hope this is true though:

Charles Saatchi

Nigella Lawson has been spotted for the first time since she walked out on her husband Charles Saatchi almost a week ago – but was not wearing her wedding ring.

The celebrity chef, 53, whose art mogul husband repeatedly grabbed her throat ten days ago, is thought to have been staying with her sister Horatia Lawson in her Mayfair apartment.

She looked pale as she spoke on her mobile phone near her sister’s home.

It is not known if she has separated from Saatchi permanently, but crucially she was seen at 10am yesterday without her gold wedding band on.

Miss Lawson is said to be facing increased pressure from managers to protect her brand through whatever decision she takes over her marriage.

She was seen without her ring 48 hours after Saatchi confessed to assaulting her in public because he did not want the attack, which he called a “playful tiff,” “hanging over all of us for months.”

[From Daily Mail]

Well, it sounds like Nigella has a decent to middling support network, and I’m pleased to hear that her management is pressuring her to leave Saatchi and their marriage behind. Even if Nigella only gives in and does so to “protect her brand,” the desired end result would be the same as if she decided to leave him because it’s the healthy thing to do. From what our past coverage of this story suggests, Nigella suffers from low self esteem, and she’s probably been trapped in an abusive relationship for the duration of she and Saatchi’s 10-year marriage, so I really don’t care how or why she leaves him. All that matters is that she does so.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson

Photos courtesy of WENN

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50 Responses to “Nigella Lawson stops wearing wedding ring, feels ‘pressure’ to leave Saatchi”

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  1. bammer says:

    It will be interesting to see if she receives the same backlash as Rihanna did if she decides to stay with her abuser.

  2. Birdie says:

    Poor thing. Must be awful to be in a abusive relationship while the whole world knows about it. Hope she gets out of the marriage and finds her happiness.

  3. marie says:

    if she’s feeling pressured to leave him, then I doubt it will stick. she needs to want to leave..

    • Pastyousayyouneverknew says:

      +1 Exactly what I was going to say.

      • Amy says:

        Often an abused partner leaves and returns more than once before making a final break. It’s a hard thing to do if you’re inside the relationship and really easy to tell someone to do from outside of it. Having a support system is crucial, and I hope that what people are telling her at this point is that they will be there for her always, whatever decision she makes. She needs strength and support right now from the people she trusts and who really love her, so she can draw on that and make the decision that works best for her in the long run. (And yes, of *course* I hope she goes the Dan Savage DTMFA route. But there’s nothing easier than running other peoples’ lives. She’s the one who has to live with the consequences of whatever she decides.)

    • Eleonor says:

      THIS. Surely that wasn’t the first time he was abusive, she has felt the need to leave him now because of the PR. It’s sad.

      • gefeylich says:

        Yeah. The grossest thing is that he probably abused her in front of her children. Ugh.

        Sorry; she’s not like Rhianna, who is an idiot. Lawson is educated, accomplished and earned her fame and wealth. Her children’s welfare should have been her first priority, because she knew abuse as a child. Instead, she’s stayed with a man who has abused and humiliated her (and by extension her children) and shown her no respect at all.

        I don’t care what she does to shore up her “brand” – she now seems utterly weak and pathetic to me and her lack of self-awareness and inability to extricate herself from this relationship makes her seem on par with Rhianna. Sad, because I used to adore her.

        And oh yeah – Saatchi is one smug disgusting bastard, isn’t he?

      • Kath says:

        gefeylich: that’s a bit extreme, don’t you think? Talk about blaming the victim!!

        You say “she’s stayed with a man who has abused and humiliated her”.

        Actually, we don’t know how long this has been going on. We certainly know that he abused her in that restaurant a week ago, and seems to have developed a taste for subtle put-downs and humiliations, but I doubt that he has been battering her with a rolling pin behind closed doors.

        No doubt this situation has crept up on her, and his manipulations, moods and pettiness have been building for years, while she tries to excuse it as overwork, or stress, or some other excuse (i.e. he’s a “difficult genius”).

        (Actually, he was in advertising, made a sh!tload of cash, and bought crappy art. That doesn’t make him any smarter than any other arrogant rich prick with too much time on his hands).

        I imagine she has found herself the victim of a kind of creeping, insidious abuse that she wouldn’t have necessarily recognised as such early on. Now that the whole world has reacted with horror to those photos she is no doubt reassessing her marriage and her whole reality.

        But Jeez – this may have been going on for a while, or it may have recently escalated. But how about you give the woman a break when she is the victim of all this??

        And having the paparazzi hound Nigella through the streets of London is likely not helping matters either. She looks seriously distressed in the photos in the Daily Fail.

    • Micki says:

      Agree. Hope she will want it herself soon. I am worried though that it was her husband who suggested her to leave the house. I’d expected it will be her move.

      I think that they both being divorced more than once have problem with relationships in general.

      It’s sad that she’s “pressured” to make a decision to protect a brand and not primary to protect herself.

      • Christina says:

        I don’t think Nigella has ever been divorced. Her first husband, the writer John Diamond, died of throat cancer at the age of 41. Tragic, as he seems to have been a really nice guy, and he wrote very movingly – and without self-pity – about his illness.

      • K says:

        Yeah, he had to have his tongue removed, and he wrote her the most moving dedication when he was within days of death, just saying he was so proud of her and what she had become. He was open about adoring her and scarcely being able to believe his luck in being married to her.

        Her mother and sister died of cancer very close together, and then her husband. It’s not amazing she has a fear of abandonment, especially as her mother was abusive. My heart really goes out to her.

    • Jenni says:

      I don’t think that’s necessarily true. If she gets away from him for a good while, even if it’s initially just at the behest of her managers, she may be able to get some breathing room, relax, feel safe, and think things through. Not being constantly terrorized might give her the space she needs to realize life can be better and to want to leave. I hope so!

    • bluhare says:

      One word. COUNSELING. By a qualified therapist.

  4. dahlianoir says:

    Douchebag husband can’t handle wife’s success, simple as that. I wish her the best and to make the most secure and safe decision.

  5. lisa2 says:

    @marie.. so so true.

    When and if she leaves has to be because she has had enough. She is tired. She doesn’t want this for herself but mostly for her children. Otherwise it is like making an addict go to rehab. Many fall back. She has to do it for herself. Hopefully that pull will be strong enough

  6. MoxyLady007 says:

    Holy crap. Her body is amazing!

    I think the response is already different from Rhianna because of a couple factors. 1- she is married. The guy beating her isn’t some boyfriend. Marriages seem like something worth saving even in these conditions 2- her age. She is completely an adult. plus her husband is “old” 3- the pics are easier to dismiss. Her face isn’t black and blue and there is no police report with a blow by blow of how he almost killed her. 4- she is a more sympathetic figure because of past personal tragedy. And she seems like a private person. 5- she and her abuser are both white.

  7. Rhea says:

    I don’t think she will easily leave him behind just because they pressure her. Look at Rihanna.
    At the beginning, she only left him because people around her pressured her. She keeps on coming back for more.
    Nigella needs to find the courage inside herself to decide leaving this guy behind.

  8. Dhavynia says:

    I don’t know why she would suffer from low self esteem, I remember the first time I saw her show a long time ago on the FN and I thought she was gorgeous and loved the way she carried herself. I really haven’t followed her career and I was happy to see her on some competitive cooking show as a judge. She looked a little thinner than before but still pretty. I guess you really never know what happens behind closed doors

    • AlmondJoy says:

      Low self esteem can have nothing to do with looks. The most beautiful woman can suffer from low self esteem.

      • Christina says:

        Exactly. On the surface Nigella would appear to have it all – brains, beauty, success and tons of money – but self-esteem has nothing to do with external factors. Also, if you look at Nigella’s first TV appearances, you’ll notice that she seems shy, awkward and very uncomfortable in front of the camera. It was only later that she developed her vivacious, sexy persona, but it seems to be a mask she puts on her the cameras, not her ‘real’ personality.

  9. Starrywonder says:

    The thing is pressuring her to leave him because of the public is not a good reason for her to leave him. She needs to want to make that break otherwise she will end up going back to him somewhere down the line.

    Frankly I will assume this is not the first time he put his hands on her and anyone that says well shoot I was doing this to make a point who knows what other things he has done to just make a point.

    I hope she leaves him because she realizes she does not deserve this and having your husband choke you to make a point is not the sign of a good marriage.

    • Me Three says:

      Or, at the very least she should think about her kids. This guy can’t be easy to live with and, I’d bet he’s been nasty to her kids.

      If she does leave him, I hope she finds someone closer to her own age, instead of a guy more than 20 years older. He could very well be suffering from dementia, based on some of the reporting about him…although I suspect, he’s just another self entitled, narcissistic old, white rich man who’s used to getting his way!

  10. Tig says:

    This is not looking good for a divorce. But for this being so public, she’d be back already. Sad but so true. It’s difficult for her supporters now- as in, why can’t she see what’s right there in front of her? I agree that for any separation to stick, decision has to be hers.

  11. RHONYC says:

    they are right to urge her to “protect her brand”.

    i was watching Nigella W-A-Y b4 Food Network was created…there was Nigella, Colin Cowie and old Julia Child episodes on public tele that i was obsessed with when my kid was in kindergarten.

    her whole image is based on ‘do what FEELS good in the kitchen and in your life’ no matter if it means you carry a few xtra pounds or the house is a lil’ messy…enjoy your life’. at least that’s what she conveyed to me.

    it would be a detrimental look on her part to carry on with this douche.

    he sullies her whole domestic goddess shtick and staying would make her appear false. :-(

    • TrustMeOnThis says:

      He has long sullied her domestic goddess image. Perhaps on purpose. He has said in the press that nothing she makes compares favorably to weetabix for him (shredded wheat cereal) and that he prefers beans on toast to her cooking, “but the children like it.”

      If that’s the case, then I’d like to know why he even bothers eating in nice restaurants. Why not just stay home and have your damn weetabix? I’m curious what he orders at the restaurant. Bet you anything it isn’t beans on toast.

      He’s an unrepentant, pompous, self-absorbed, bullying ASS. I hope she kicks him to the curb.

      I do know all too well the shame of being battered. Yes, it makes the victim ashamed. He probably has her convinced it is all HER fault, somehow. That’s how they operate; he probably even believes it himself on some level. Hopefully the publicity will help her be strong and not go back to more abuse.

      tl;dr: Run, Nigella! Run!!! You deserve SO much better! And you can have it!

  12. L.S. says:

    I think her brand will suffer (at least her in the US) if she goes back. I’m not sure if in the UK people would feel the same. After all, they all just watched her get choked and did nothing. So maybe her brand won’t suffer at all.

    • Pip says:

      Um, hello? There’s a lot of Brit-bashing genneralisations flying around today (in the Queen thread too).

      Please don’t judge us by the actions – or lack of actions – of a handful of people sitting in a restaurant in Central London.

    • bluhare says:

      What Pip said. Imagine how you would feel as an American if people made sweeping generalisations about you and your country.

  13. grabbyhands says:

    I hope she does because this flawless goddess deserves better.

    She seems like a strong woman, and she has already been through so much in her life-I hope she has the will to drop this asshole.

    • gefeylich says:

      A “strong woman” would not have put up with this abuse at all. Even with all her millions, even with her children looking on as this asshole humiliated and hurt her, even with supportive family members nearby to help, she could not/would not leave this man.

      This is NOT my definition of a “strong woman.”

      • TrustMeOnThis says:

        It’s not easy getting away from an abusive relationship. There is also emotional manipulation, always. And it usually happens so gradually that at first you don’t even really notice, then you want to try to save the relationship – with them promising it will be like old times again if you will just forgive them, it wasn’t their fault, you totally provoked them when you said… etc etc.

        Don’t be so fast to judge her. It’s a total mindfsck.

  14. Nicolette says:

    Run Nigella, run. And don’t look back.

  15. Izzy says:

    If not for her own sake, then she should leave for the sake of her son. Can you imagine what it must be like for a teenage boy to watch his mother get physically abused? (And I have no doubt, really, that it’s happened in private as well.) Can you imagine the fear that he might be next (if he hasn’t been hit already)?

    Really, I have two pre-teen cousins who grew up with an abusive parent, and the other finally found the courage to ask for a divorce. But those kids are messed up for life. Kids internalize these kinds of things much more than most people realize. Hopefully Ms. Lawson wakes up to the realization soon that even if she doesn’t care about her own safety, her son’s safety should come first.

    • Bored suburbanhousewife says:

      I’m pretty sure Bruno could take that nasty old man down—probably he has maybe that’s why Saatchi prefers public places with only Nigella there to get physical? Positive he is verbally and emotionally abusive regularly too. She has been putting up with his for years it seems.

    • lisa says:

      that’s not their dad, her kids may be able to convince her to do it

      imo maria shriver only left arnold due to public pressure and her kids

  16. MyCatLovesTV says:

    “Protect her brand”??? How about protect her life? If a man feels comfortable strangling you in public, God only knows what the hell he has done in private. I know it may sound stupid but sometimes you don’t even realize you are being abused when you are deep in a situation….until some outside force makes you realize it. These photos, this press will hopefully be a turning point for this woman.

    Side note: She is 53?!? (…takes off hat) She is stunning in these photos and would be stunning at 33. Wow.

  17. EscapedConvent says:

    When I saw that Nigella went right back home after the choking incident, I felt terrible for her. A whole week passed before she left, & that was because the story went public & people saw those shocking photos. This says that Nigella can & does put up with this abusive louse. It took public embarrassment to make her leave him, & I hate to say this, but I think she’ll go back to him.

    Nigella learned what abused children always learn from their earliest memory: “Keep this unhappiness & pain to yourself, & smile like everything’s good. This is the way your life is going to be & you’d better get used to it.”

    I would bet she wasn’t even surprised that no one stepped in to help her at that restaurant. And sadly, the absence of anyone there caring enough to intervene only reinforced the resignation she must feel.

    This is a powerful example of what low self-esteem & childhood abuse does to the rest of someone’s life. Even someone as accomplished, smart & gorgeous as Nigella has been so damaged by an abusive mother that she doesn’t know how to break that chain & get away from her abuser. A very wise & wonderful therapist I once saw for the same issues said something I’ll always remember about staying in an abusive relationship: “It doesn’t have to feel good, it just has to feel familiar.”

  18. MAC says:

    She is such a lovely woman. I just keep thinking he did that in public what does he do at home. I hope she does what is best for her. I have been married a long time and my husband has never even yelled. It amazes me when I see how some marriages are so abusive.

  19. skuddles says:

    Nigella, just worry about the pressure you feel on your throat when your abusive pr*ck of a husband chokes you. Don’t leave him because people think you should… leave him because he’s a bastard who doesn’t deserve you.

  20. Alexis says:

    She is gorgeous (and very troubled, it would appear). He is a scumbag abuser. Pure arrogance that he assumed that misogyny, his money and white privilege would get him through this. Sadly, he’s probably right. For all the Chris Brown “poor little black boy” comparisons, Chris Brown is still making tons of money at the same job as before, and so is Rihanna. Rihanna actually got bigger after the incident, imho. I think there was insufficient backlash even for that, so I can’t imagine how few repercussions there will be for this.