Nigella Lawson on the choking incident: ‘I am not some sort of battered wife’

Nigella Lawson

These are photos of Nigella Lawson on Friday while leaving a friend’s home with her teenage daughter, Cosima. This is Nigella’s first public appearance since leaving her marital home a few hours after the Mirror published photos of her husband, Charles Saatchi, choking her at a public restaurant. In the immediate aftermath, Saatchi dismissed reports that he was hurting Nigella, and he claimed that it was all in good fun, i.e., “a playful tiff,” before Scotland Yard let him off with a police “caution.” Saatchi also made it sound like he was the one (and this could be true) who suggested Nigella leave the marital home to let things blow over. We’ve also heard that Nigella stopped wearing her wedding ring and felt pressured to leave her husband for the sake of “her brand.”

Now there’s some new information coming down the pike from the Mail, which says that Nigella would never have left her home if photos of the choking incident hadn’t surfaced. That much is obvious since the incident took place a week prior to the Mirror’s story, and Nigella seemed content to forget that it ever happened. In addition, the Mail reports that Nigella is riding out the storm at a £10,000 apartment in the Mayfair district of London while she tries to figure out whether or not to get a divorce; it’s said that she wants to rebuild her marriage to Saatchi, but she wants him to get counseling for his anger issues. Yet it will be hard to convince Saatchi to admit he has anger problems if he sees choking as a “playful tiff,” right?

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson has told friends she wants to rebuild her troubled relationship with millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi and has insisted: “I am not some sort of battered wife.”

The 53-year-old chef has confided that although she has no current plans to return home she is still in love with her husband. As she faces a second week away from Mr Saatchi, 70, friends have said she wants him to undergo anger management therapy or counselling to control his volatile moods.

In the first insight into the anguish that Nigella is suffering, a close friend said: “She desperately loves Charles and says he is her world. She feels that if he would look at getting some sort of help, anger management or therapy then they can work at rebuilding their relationship. As in any marriage, there are issues and problems that arise, and he is under a huge amount of pressure and stress. But she feels she is never going to be able to live this down and move on.”

The Mail on Sunday has been told that Nigella would never have left the £14 million family home if images of her husband grabbing her by the throat outside celebrity restaurant Scott’s had not been published.

The friend said: “Nigella feels her hand has been forced. She would not have left if the incident had stayed private.”

She has fled to a £10,000-a-week Mayfair apartment where she is struggling to consider the best way forward for herself and her two teenage children, and decide whether the couple has a future.

Saatchi accepted a police caution for assault following the publication of the damning pictures last Sunday, which he initially tried to dismiss as “a playful tiff.” But the incident sparked an outcry.

It was raised in the House of Lords on Friday, as Nigella’s father Lord Lawson looked on, when Lord Avebury asked: ‘Do you think that the leniency shown to Mr Saatchi when he half-strangled his wife set the wrong tone?’

But as the public debate rages, Nigella is craving privacy and quiet, and is tormented over how to proceed. Friends say the removal of her wedding ring last week was merely a sign of her confusion as she struggles to cope under the nationwide scrutiny of her most private relationship.

Most of Nigella’s family, especially her father Nigel and sister Horatia, are said to be furious that Saatchi has created this hugely embarrassing storm. Publicly they have refused to comment, but privately they are believed to have urged her not to return to him.

Her brother Dominic, former editor of The Spectator, does not wish to comment. But author Kathy Lette, who is close to the couple, was outspoken. ‘I’m not talking to Charles,’ she said. “He’s behaved appallingly. I can’t believe that after so many years in the public relations business he’s handled this so badly.”

[From Daily Mail]

In addition, there’s a new report that Nigella has had her clothing delivered to her new place, which I suppose is a step in the right direction of divorcing this Saatchi bloke. It sounds like Nigella is (rightfully) feeling overwhelmed, and I have to say that she looks like she hasn’t been sleeping much. She’s could be so used to Saatchi’s ways that she didn’t even realize how outrageous those photos look to outsiders, and yes, she’s definitely in denial if she doesn’t consider herself “a battered wife.” I can’t possibly believe that this is the first time he’s laid hands on her in an unkind way. The public scrutiny must be excruciating for Nigella to endure, but I hope she gathers up enough strength to leave this guy for good.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson

Photos courtesy of WENN

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109 Responses to “Nigella Lawson on the choking incident: ‘I am not some sort of battered wife’”

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  1. EIleen says:

    Oh sure Nigella we all choke our partners during disagreements(you’re not some common, battered wife like a mere peasant) next time he does it there may be no one around to document it until they’re drawing a chalk outline of your corpse

    • Blue Jean says:

      Exactly. The only ones who don’t see it as abuse are the perpetrator and the victim.

    • Meredith says:

      Yes, dear, you are a battered wife. You have a nicer house than most of them and your money gives you more options for leaving as does your apparently supportive family. But as someone who has worked with battered women, I can say that you are one. Hopefully this will be the push she needs to leave the marriage and get out of denial.

    • Ag says:

      yeah, that’s how it came off to me too – “being a battered wife is for the masses, not for the well to do.” poor woman. hope she has enough support to seek her and leave his a$$.

      • Layale says:

        *Sigh* Everyone above already said everything I was thinking. Oh Nigella. You best tread carefully, lest your empire fall as fast as Paula Deen’s.

      • ConcernTroll says:

        It was a “source” quote from the Daily Mail. Goodness, it sounds like each of you is victim blaming. No one said anything about her thinking her abuse is less troublesome because she has money. This has to be one of the worst comment threads ever on this site…including the ones about the Kardashians. Domestic Abuse is a black/white, rich/poor, human rights issue that is very hard to reconcile for all those involved. Please don’t blame her for having difficulty with it and the fact it was splashed across the world for everyone to see. I would hate to think there is a woman in a similar situation reading the things you have written here…

      • MrsB says:

        @Concerntroll Thank you,I was thinking the same thing. It’s shameful.

      • jaye says:

        @ConcernTroll…you said exactly what I was thinking.

      • TheOriginalWaffle says:

        I don’t think this issue needs a class element added to it, if what we’re talking about is Nigella waking up and doing the right thing for herself.

    • Ella says:

      As far as I can tell, she never actually said “I’m not some sort of battered wife,” it’s just a quote attributed to her by a source.

  2. lisa2 says:

    OH my… don’t know what to say

    In those 2 top pictures she looks exactly like a battered wife. I was shocked looking at them. She looks very broken and just out of it. I’m sure the reporters outside her home and the media attention is not helping but she looks so beaten.. and her daughter looks to be guiding her.

    Whatever the outcome, I hope she makes a decision that will be healthy for her and her children.

    • Bored suburbanhousewife says:

      Broken was exactly my reaction. The glowing, charismatic “persona” she radiates on tv and in public appearances has been completely stripped away. She seems shattered, dazed and worst of all, shamed, which she shouldn’t be (he should obviously) and yet she is. I ache for her vulnerability and I fear for her. I pray she can put the pieces back and move forward into a new, better life.

      • Seagulls says:

        So well stated. She ha nothing to feel ashamed of. I hope she gets out, for her own good and her children, too. Grown or not, they still need to see their mother caring for herself.

      • bluecalling says:

        True but… it is so easy to feel ashamed… when assaulted, after fear and knowing I was alright I felt so embarrassed, terribly… really, that was THE worst feeling. you can’t believe it’s you… you start blaming yourself… people know your business… then good sense hopefully kicks in. but I think all the attention and advice (given with love I am sure) just makes you feel helpless even more. You have to make your own decision and own it… that sense of regained control is what you need (of course it does not mean you make the “right” decision).

        and for those attacking what she said… I think it’s from how free people were to bash rhianna for her decision, the lack of understanding was harsh. now I guess it’s the norm. c’est la vie.

        she’s gorgeous though.

    • Heebeegeebee says:

      Yes, I am glad that you pointed this out! Her daughter looks like the protector here. Why would she want to raise her children in this environment? My Mother married an abusive SOB (not my Dad). This guy was a copycat of her abusive father, and the pattern continued. Nigella should be worried about the example she has set for her kids.

    • BooBooLaRue says:

      Agreed. She looks broken and terrorized to me.

  3. marie says:

    if your husband chokes you out then you are a battered wife. seems she’s been beat down so much that this has become normal behavior?

    she’ll end up back with him for sure..I get that it takes some several times of leaving before it sticks, but if you have the money, means and support then there is no reason to put up with this mess.

    • Blue Jean says:

      Working with battered women, one of the most frustrating things you deal with is the defense of the abuser, by the victim herself. Classic stance.

      • booboocita says:

        So very, very true. A dear friend of mine could not be persuaded by her friends and family to drop her abusive, violent boyfriend because “he doesn’t mean it,” “he’s under a lot of stress at work,” “it was my fault for not understanding.” She finally left when he struck her 4-year-old from a previous relationship, and CPS threatened to remove the child from their house. That was about three years ago, and I heard from a mutual friend that she still occasionally texts him. Jeebus …

      • Tig says:

        You are too right. A colleague of mine who worked at a domestic violence shelter was once told- this denial/return to abuser is nothing she is doing to YOU. Whatever or however it is to an outsider, the victim has to be the one to make the break. Which is one reason this work is so trying and heart-rending.

        I have known so many women who were so confident and assertive in their professional areas, but when it came to men- it was like a switch was turned off. That’s what I see here- good luck to Nigella’s family and friends. Quite frankly, if the only reason she doesn’t go back is to “protect the brand”- fine.

      • Lila says:

        I agree that people should lay off Nigella for being confused. She’s been with that man for a decade lord only knows what psychological trauma he’s inflicted. I DO take issue with the statements of everyone else though- it’s all “this is so embarrassing” “he’s handled the situation so poorly” “we can’t believe he’s made us all look so common”. Not one of them just said “what he did was vicious and wrong. Period.”

      • pantalones en fuego says:

        7. That is the average amount of times that an abused woman leaves her abuser and returns before leaving for good (or worse)If this is an abusive relationship which it appears to be to most, she probably thinks that it’s her fault for saying the wrong thing and has most likely even apologized to him for “causing trouble” Hopefully this publicity will be the impetus for her to finally leave him.

    • Rhea says:

      ^^THIS^^

  4. Blue Jean says:

    The only thing more sad than her statement, is the denial she is displaying for the entire world to see. For those who have ever dealth with abused women, this is a typical stance. “I’m not abused.” While the rest of the world sees differently. Denial is a powerful illusion. And when an abused woman is killed by her “non” abuser, it’s a mysterious accident. Dead is still dead. Abuse is still abuse, no matter how many times the victim or the abuser tries to explain it away.

    • TrustMeOnThis says:

      They convince you it’s all your fault. There is a lot of psychological manipulation going on. Figuring out you are being abused causes incredible cognitive dissonance, which is part of why it can be so hard to get out. All the while, the abuser is tugging on your sympathy, trying to reel you back in. It’s awful. It’s also why the victims blame themselves – they were very carefully groomed to do just that.

      This is why it upsets me to see folks who have obviously never been in an abusive relationship heaping scorn on women who don’t immediately leave. Even with money and resources it’s complicated.

  5. e.non says:

    ***I can’t believe that after so many years in the public relations business he’s handled this so badly.”***

    yes, because the only issue is the public relations fallout … not the bruises around her neck.

    • JenD says:

      Yes! It seems that most statements coming from this situation are about the fallout from the publicity, not the actual problem of choking her. It’s like, “if you’re going to choke your wife, do it in the privacy of your home so it doesn’t affect your public persona or brand.”

    • Eleonor says:

      Agreed, and coming from a brother. This is sooo infuriating.
      If my father knew my boyfriend had done something like that to me, he would kick the hell out of his ass without giving a crap about “opinions” people can have. But we are peasants so, probably, we have different views.

      • Michele says:

        Right on, Eleonor. It was the thought of what my late father would have done to my abusive ex husband that gave me the courage I needed to leave. I’m not kidding. I never saw my father raise a hand to my mother, never heard him say an unkind word to her. I knew that I deserved a better relationship than the one I was in.

  6. Eleonor says:

    So that wasn’t the first time, nor an isolated “episode”. Probably she has always been able in not letting people know what was happening at home, beceause it seems no one knew anything.
    Saddenly she will be back to him: she doesn’t see the abuse.

  7. GoldenState says:

    OF COURSE this is too lenient.
    If your government–the community’s law-making, freedom-defining institution–doesn’t think it’s serious to choke a woman in public (and you can clearly get away with it), then why would the woman feel any differently about the event?? Ugh.

  8. Aiobhan says:

    I hope she has a strong support system that is helping her through this.

  9. Jaded says:

    Well she’s sure drunk the denial Kool-Aid if she doesn’t think she’s a battered wife – you can be emotionally, mentally and physically battered without actual punches being involved. It’s a sickening, sad situation and I really hope she doesn’t go back to that ogre.

  10. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Sometimes, the sick part of a relationship can grow so slowly and insidiously that it takes an extreme event, witnessed by other people, to wake you up. That happened to me in my first marriage, which was to a man who started out slightly controlling and ended up being extremely emotionally abusive. I won’t bore you with the details, but I became so beaten down in spirit that I believed him when he said his unhappiness was my fault, and I just kept trying to “improve”. After one public episode, a good friend took me aside and gently told me that he was crazy and his behavior was completely sick. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but until that moment, I hadn’t seen it for what it was. I hope this will be the enlightening moment for Nigella, and she will see that she doesn’t deserve to be treated this way. I hope she finds the strength to leave.
    Once I opened my eyes to what was actually happening, and admitted to myself that my life was never meant to be with this man, or any man who treated me without respect, it was as if all these doors starting opening around me. It was hard work and scary at times, but I created a life I love. Then I met a man who loved my strength, not my weakness, and I have been happily married to an equal partner and best friend for 16 years.

    • Kitty says:

      ^^^THIS!^^^
      I had a similar episode in my life. It’s so easy to be “brainwashed” into thinking it’s your fault. Everyone can see she’s in denial. I wouldn’t normally advocate for ending a marriage, but they at least need some serious therapy. Abusers don’t change and this sick dynamic will likely always exist between them. I hope she can get help and improve her life.

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      Thank you for sharing! I too was in a relationship that slowly and gradually became a prison of emotional, verbal and mental abuse. I was so brain washed that I couldn’t see it for what it was. And an abusive father further muddied the waters.

      I got out. The slow awakening was both very hard and very empowering. But once you start to really see, you can’t unsee. At least I couldn’t and I am very grateful for that.

      I have a wonderful life now. And I wish the same for every woman.

    • bluhare says:

      EXACTLY. Same thing happened to me.

    • TrustMeOnThis says:

      Glad we all got out! Karmatinis all ’round, to toast to better days!

    • Amy says:

      Me too – 20 years out and best thing I ever did for me and our daughters. He loved them, but they needed to know that you do not stay in a relationship where you are demeaned and mistreated, and I was the only one who could do that. Good on all of us!

  11. Sabrine says:

    He has never seemed like a very pleasant individual, not sure the attraction there. There’s no need whatsoever for her to stay with him. She should move on and try to be stronger within herself.

  12. CoralSea says:

    Lucky “diner” to be in just the right spot to take loads of really juicy pics over 27 mins (see Femail) and Nigella NEVER noticed her? I’m sniffing a set-up. How much sympathy would she get if she just accused him of violence while a picture says a thousand words.

    • Meredith says:

      How could she have set him up? He was the one who made the choice to be physically abusive, not her.

      • CoralSea says:

        I mean the photos. Turns out they’re taken by Jean-Paul paparazzi. She knows that a touchy subject eg the kids will get him going and brings it on. I’m not for him in anyway, violent prick as pics show. Just saying there’s a big difference in saying “oh Charles he hits me you know” to here it is in tecnicolour. Thumbs up to her PR team.

    • Poppy says:

      I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understood your post.

      Are you suggesting that Nigella set up the incident (i.e. booked that particular table, hired a photographer to lurk inconspicuously, then somehow incited her husband to choke her out of the blue with no previous history of violence), so that she would be able to claim more money from him in a divorce?

      Or are you suggesting that she knew he would assault her that particular day and hired a photographer in readiness.

      I’m sure you’re not blaming a victim of assault for her own attack in anyway. I must have misunderstood.

      • CoralSea says:

        The first, but not for the money, just to get out with public sympathy. I don’t think it’s “out of the blue”, it looks habitual when he’ll do it in public and arrogant. However one look at Cosima’s face tells me she has a very strong ally. BTW did you see the pic of her suitcase being delivered?

    • TrustMeOnThis says:

      What a ridiculous theory. They eat there frequently and the paps know it. The photog was waiting to get photos of them leaving when he saw her react to something and looked through his telephoto lens to find out what was going on.

      There is NO WAY Nigella would be foolish enough to devastate her own public image. If she wanted a divorce she could have done it quietly and privately.

      What confuses me is that everyone involved seems to keep going back to the place where it happened. Is there only one restaurant in all of London?!

    • SCREEEE says:

      Your comments made me feel a little sick. From what I can gather, you think she ‘set this up’ to get out of her marriage with public opinion on her side. You seem to find this… funny? wrong? famewhory? I’m not really sure. Noteworthy, anyway.

      She *clearly* didn’t do any such thing; as another commenter said, she would never shatter her career like this – look at her face! But mostly, WHY WOULD “THE PUBLIC” NOT BE ON HER SIDE?! Her blinding husband is comfortable enough assaulting her to do it in public! Who WOULDN’T be ‘on her side’?

  13. Amy says:

    What a sad situation, and how terrible for her children. Sometimes it takes several times for an abused partner to leave. Forgive the length, but this is a poem by Pat Lowther, a Canadian poet who was killed by her second husband.

    To a Woman Who Died of 34 Stab Wounds

    I can see it as though I’d been there,
    you pouring beer and talking,
    your heavy scarlet smile
    held out like a credit card.
    Glances would cross behind your back
    (you’d have been quite spectacular
    then, in the way a reconstruction
    of the San Francisco Opera House
    would be spectacular}
    They wouldn’t know
    that milky velvet you affected
    was your true face.
    In your prime you’d seduce anyone,
    woman or man, considering that
    the friendly thing to do.
    Your murderer couldn’t believe
    so much pride could survive
    in flesh gone soft.
    At the end, coiling, striking,
    his rage was for himself,
    for his fine body failing
    to humble your sagging sixty.

  14. Ali says:

    Re: yes, she’s definitely in denial if she doesn’t consider herself “a battered wife.”. We don’t know what has been going on in their marriage over the past ten years. Its too soon to start making generalizations.

  15. Jenn says:

    At the end of the day, she has to remember, the message it sends to her daughter.

  16. minime says:

    This kind of denial is unfortunately a classical part of the dynamic in domestic violence. I really like Nigella. I think she is a great professional (I love her show and her recipes) and she comes across as a very nice person. I hope she can use this very unfortunate public moment to get rid of this abusive relationship.

  17. Carolyn says:

    It’s a difficult decision to leave an abusive husband. My “lightbulb” moment came when a counsellor directly asked me if I wanted to stay with him and I realised I really didn’t. Having done it privately, I can’t imagine the additional pressure Nigella is under, having it out in the open.

    I hope she makes the right decision for herself and her children. Don’t give a toss about Saatchi’s image or what he has to say. Rich pretentious a-hole. He’s probably been getting away with it for years.

  18. Thora says:

    @bedhead : I didn’t know Americans used the word bloke.

  19. Ruyana says:

    She should ask her children how they feel about it. They’re old enough to tell her. My mom stayed in a nightmarish abusive situation while we kids were young. It was extremely damaging to all of us children. We’re in our 60′s to 70′s now and still share horror stories from time to time. And even though we loved our mom we resented the hell out of her for trapping us in hell with her.

    Nigella might be dickmatized enough to put up with the occasional “playful tiff”, but what about the hell she makes her children witness?

    • DreamyK says:

      The former Mr. DreamyK had a father that would make Saatchi look like a saint. I can’t imagine what it would be like for young boys, who eventually grow into men, to witness their father beating their mother. The love, the hate, the shame. Just overwhelming.

      If she can’t bring herself to do it for her sake, I hope she does it for her children and stops the cycle.

  20. Nicolette says:

    That’s pretty sad if the only reason she left him was because this went public. So it would have been business as usual for her if it were behind closed doors? Wow. I’m not married to someone that would ever do that to me but if it ever happened, closed doors or not, his peen and balls would get clamped in my fist until he let go, and then I’d be gone. No second chances. You touch me I’m out. Period.

    • Ruyana says:

      Agreed, because of the abusive relationship my mom made us all live through I gave my husband-to-be one piece of advice:

      “If you ever hit me just remember, you have to sleep sometime.”

  21. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    The British papers are now reporting she wants to divorce him. He is a malevolent being who writes books advocating that people should be the worst they can be and not ever consider the feelings of others. He lives his philosophy apparently.

    Probably at the beginning he swooped in to rescue a vulnerable widow with two young children like some white knight but his true nature has been coming out since and the whole thing has unravelled publicly.

    I predict that a new man will “ride to the rescue” of newly devastated Nigella and she will marry again. It just seems like her pattern. I just hope the new one will treasure her like her first husband did!

  22. Myrto says:

    Forcing her to leave her husband because of her “brand” won’t solve anything.
    It has to come from her. She has to realize herself this is not ok to choke your spouse (and who knows what else).
    Until then I won’t be judging her and looking down on her, just hoping she makes the healthy decision.

    • Layale says:

      While I agree with you that she has to realize it for herself (I have a friend who has returned to an abusive spouse repeatedly, so I do agree) I also think that if she is forced to leave him because of the brand, maybe–just maybe–it will get her away long enough to perhaps get help and to maybe realize she is better off. I know it’s a very small chance. But I am hoping for her to be safe. So, if she leaves because of pressure to save her brand, I hope the best comes from it.

      • Myrto says:

        Ah yes, hopefully that’s what happens. That her being away from him helps her realize she has to leave this asshole. But it usually is a long process for victims of abuse to truly admit that they are, in Nigella’s words, a battered wife.

      • lucy2 says:

        That’s my thinking too – even if she leaves for the wrong reasons, she’s still leaving, and a little time and distance might make her see how bad it really was.

        Sad thing is if she does leave, he’ll have some other woman happy to take her place because of his $$$.

  23. boredbrit says:

    Her daughter Mimi, is the spitting image of her father.

  24. Cuchulain says:

    She just sounds so IGNORANT AND ARROGANT; I feel for her and her children regardless of her comments. I hope she heals and moves on. No person or animal should be mistreated and there is never an excuse for such behavior. Never confuse an excuse with an apology!

  25. Faye says:

    I mentioned that I used to volunteer at a domestic-abuse shelter, and I’ve seen attitudes like Nigella’s time and time again. You see it a lot in women of means – it’s a form of self-protection, or denial, I think. “I get nice highlights and we live in a beautiful house — I can’t be a battered wife! Battered wives are those poor women whose husbands are alcoholics and knock them around after a day at the factory!” Things like that. It takes a LONG time for the truth to penetrate.

    As for the annoyance about exposure and wanting privacy – normally I’m on board with privacy, but in cases like these privacy is what protects the perpetrator, so it is not a good thing. You saw the same thing with Rihanna after the Chris Brown thing – she was mad at the police department for releasing the pictures of her, not for Chris for making her look like that.

    It’s just harder to excuse this type of ignorance when there are kids involved — someone in this thread talked about how they grew up in a similar situation and resent their mother to an extent to this day.

  26. teehee says:

    This is what her husband is telling her.
    They all say youre being a quitter and a loser if you “just leave”. Surely, you are not jsut some pitiful abused person, right? Dont listen to those people who are belittling you by suggesting your an abused person.
    That is her HUSBAND speaking….

  27. Maum says:

    He didn’t even ‘rescue a vulnerable widow’. Her husband was still alive when they started their relationship.
    Apparently there was a month overlap- he was friends with both of them. You’d think a ‘friend’ would allow a woman to mourn her husband before jumping in.

    • Masque says:

      You’d think her husband would have known what an asshole Saatchi was and discouraged Nigella from dating him.

    • OhDear says:

      Right? It seems like he was targeting her when she was in a vulnerable state. Practically predatory and gross.

  28. jessiebes says:

    Nigella once said in an interview that she adores her husband because he is an alpha male and dominant. She sounded absolutely enthralled with him.

    So to come from that, to acknowledging being abused, is a big step. I hope she does it and soon.

    • Littlewood says:

      Sounds similar to what Miranda Kerr said tbh. What wrong with wanting a relationship with someone who sees you as an equal? It’s as if we’re going back to the fifties…

  29. Guesto says:

    Cosima is such a beautiful blend of Nigella and John Diamond.

    Time for the media/public to leave her alone and let her get on with her business in private.

  30. Sixer says:

    Every time I see this story, I think of John Diamond. I followed his cancer column avidly (he was diagnosed at a similar time to me and I took his fate horribly personally) and read his book. He absolutely worshipped Nigella.

    • Guesto says:

      Wishing you well, Sixer. It was incredibly harrowing anyway but must have been even more so for someone going through a similar experience. It was also remarkable for his refusal to be stoic and brave, and yet he was exactly that for fighting so fiercely against other people’s expectations of how terminal illness should be approached. And yes, the love just shone through the rage.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes. I remember him saying he disliked references to cancer patients being brave, or fighting battles because that would mean if you died what were you? Some kind of sissy loser? I loved that he could be funny (and truthful) about that. When he wrote the Grim Reaper column, I bawled my eyes out for an entire day.

  31. Aud says:

    And then there are the paps, in her face. She can’t even cross the road.
    What a nightmare.

  32. gg says:

    So “Nigella is craving privacy and quiet” — right smack in the middle of London in Mayfair of all places? Fat chance.

  33. Denise says:

    Maybe’s he’s never hit her and that’s what she’s basing not being a ‘battered wife’ on. She’s probably so used to his systematic mental abuse that she just sees this behaviour as who he is, and the throat grabbing as a bad moment, though likely one of dozens, if not hundreds, of bad moments. Also, she grew up in an upper class English family. You simply do not speak of such things in public. So don’t expect her to expand on the issue anytime soon.

  34. palermo says:

    Yes, Nigella, that is exactly what you are. And in huge denial.

  35. Loulou says:

    She looks like a petrified animal. Sadly, if she’s easily scared, her type is attracted to the type of man Saatchi is, who comforts her with the fact he’s obviously a forceful bully. If they really wanted to save their marriage, they would exit the public eye and move to a deserted island. Live by PR, die by PR. They need to get off the radar. Next time though, no one will answer after she cries “wolf”! There’s no easy way out of this one.

  36. Lucrezia says:

    On a slightly different note: I don’t like the way her family is getting dragged into this. Am I the only one?

    Did we really need a photo of her teenaged daughter? Since her brother refused to comment, the DM should have simply not mentioned him at all.

    It’s even making me feel sympathetic towards her father (who I don’t really like). It must have been incredibly awkward hearing his colleagues bringing this up to score political points. The fact that all the papers are going out of their way to point out that he was in chambers at the time is just rubbing salt into the wound.

  37. Jayna says:

    He’ll probably really mad at her now and she’s on full mode trying to fix this fiasco while he sulks blaming her for all this publiciity, not the fact that he was choking his wife in public and pinching hard the end of her nose. That is a man with a lot of rage and hatred. Nobody is fooled. We all know something is going on behind doors, just not the depth of it.

  38. UsedToBeLulu says:

    You know what, I don’t really care why she left him. Or if she is stating things that show she is clearly still in the cycle of abuse. All I care about is that she left him and this is all coming under scrutiny and that it seems doubtful that they will reconcile. She is safe. She’ll figure the rest out on her own – hopefully she will seek counseling.

  39. Dani V says:

    Oh but you are a battered woman. I get the denial. It is demeaning and humilating. But money has nothing to do with it. I hope you get out. I’ve been there. It is hard but do it for your kids if not for yourself.

  40. skuddles says:

    That old fart deserves a “playful” kick in the balls. And she needs to wake the hell up.

  41. Claudia says:

    Why are they all wearing coats- don’t they get a summer in London?

    • bluhare says:

      We don’t get one in the Pacific Northwest either. Sometimes being surrounded by water can make the weather a bit iffy.

  42. Dedrie says:

    Gotcha nose, breaking it off.. tee hee.. it’s just a tiff.. our funny game

  43. tabasco says:

    totally random: she looks a lot like anne hathaway to me. it’s like looking at a time warp of annie.

    • mw says:

      She absolutely looks like Anne Hathaway to me too. Anne in about 15 years. I feel terrible for her and hope this gives her the impetus to break away from her abusive husband.

  44. ParisPucker says:

    wow, this really isn’t fair. It’s not up to us to judge – all of this is so insanely personal. My heart really goes out to her…

    Look, she is no dumb broad. Look up and read about her and you’ll soon realize. This is complicated: kids are involved…public images…and I’m in my 30s still looking for love – imagine how scary the prospect is at her age? I, for one, feel no position to judge. She is surrounded by enough people who care about her and looking out for her interests to know she’ll be fine. But agreed: for Saatchi, of ALL people to have created and handled this PR mess and debacle is quite hard to understand. That aside, if he has anger issues, then he has to grow a pair and be honest in addressing it – it’s not fair that all the focus in the attention on what happened is something that Nigella has to deal with. Not really fair…

    Anyway, hope she achieves the happiness and security she deserves. Because she sure as hell doesn’t deserve this…

  45. LahdidahBaby says:

    I was with a prominent man who battered me, and he had all the power. I had a public profile, too, but in the arts–his world was the world of politics and influence. It took me 7 years of escalating abuse to finally admit to myself that:

    1. I was “one of those abused women”
    2. it wasn’t my fault, even though he said it was
    3. No matter how sorry he was each time afterwards, I had to leave.

    I recommend compassion for Nigella, because when you love and admire a man and believe he loves you, it’s very hard to stop accepting his abject apologies and leave the life you’ve built with him. I still flinch when I see scenes of violence in movies, I still get tears in my eyes if I let myself think of it for too long (like right now), the trauma never goes away, even after years–so imagine how powerless a woman feels when she’s right there in the middle of such a relationship.

  46. I recently read someone’s account of their abusive marriage in which she described her perception of the abuse as “I didn’t see myself as being in an abusive marriage. I saw myself as a strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man.”

    I wonder if that’s how Nigella feels.

  47. MavenTheFirst says:

    Everyone around her as well as she, seem more worried about how it looks than anything else. Disgusting lot around her.

  48. Suze says:

    I’ve expended all my outrage on the Melissa McCarthy post so I’ll say only: please leave this bastard Nigella. Even if you only do it to show your children that this type of relationship is not right.

  49. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    I hope she gets her head together. Leaving him ONLY because the incident was made public and she’s worried about how it would look if she didn’t leave, isn’t healthy.

    Also, while it’s in poor taste to criticize her looks right now, I gotta say the work she had done to reduce her jowls has left her face distorted. I hardly recognized her in recent pictures. But she could have self-esteem problems (as also evidenced by her willingness to stay with the creep), which is even more reason to leave him.

  50. la chica says:

    She’s right actually. She’s not “some” sort of battered wman. She’s ONE sort of battered woman. The type whose money and social standing allow her to live in denial.

    • LadidahBaby says:

      You say that as if it’s a luxury to
      be able to “afford” to live in denial with a man who is verbally and physically battering you. Come on, think about it: Aside from its judgmental tone, it’s also the opposite of true–women with NO financial resources are the ones who almost always have to stay–because in addition to all the other kinds of denial, fear, and self-doubt that are universal to ALL abuse victims, when women live in poverty they can’t afford to leave.

      Social standing and wealth DO keep a woman from leaving sometimes–you’re right about that–but only because those women are often afraid that the scandal that will be caused, the publicity that will arise from that scandal, and the public humiliation to their spouse when they leave will rouse the wrath and vengeance of that wealthy or powerful husband/mate. Unless you’ve lived with a powerful batterer, you have no idea what it feels like to imagine the things he can do to you if you tell anyone what he’s doing to you or, worse, if you leave him. So you stay. You stay way too long. Not because of social standing or wealth, but because those things give HIM power over you. He tells you he will ruin you, and you believe him because you know he can.

      I don’t think anyone has a right to judge a woman for staying in an abusive relationship,wealthy or poor, because honestly, by the time you realize that’s what has happened to you, you believe you are just a piece of sh*t beneath a man’s feet, and you doubt you can find a way to leave, you doubt that you can make your way alone in the world, you feel foolish, weak, and unworthy, and you think what has happened to you is all your fault. A kind of “Stockholm Syndrome” kicks in and you begin to identify with your abuser. He tells you you’re sh*t; you tell yourself you’re sh*t.

      Judging Nigella for staying because she’s a woman of means is as unfair as judging a poor woman for staying.

  51. Cora says:

    I am seeing red right now. Saatchi has just released a statement saying during the nose pulling photos he was simply attempting to wipe Nigella’s nose. He said, “Even domestic goddesses sometimes have a bit of snot in their nose. I was trying to fish it out”.

    What an utterly vile man.

  52. Jenn says:

    Well you know she’s humiliated that people know about it. She could deal with it if nobody knew. Maybe now people do know, she won’t go back. I hope not for her and the child’s sake. I was a child in that sort of environment. It ain’t fun.

    Yeah, he’s old. Accidents happen.

  53. Thora says:

    She needs to get herself a hot young thirty something to go over this. Don’t know why she was with such an old fart in the first place. Now that it turns out he”s a wife beater it’s a no brainer.

  54. tracking says:

    She looks like she’s really suffering in these pics. I feel for her.

  55. Abi says:

    I’ve read more than one interview in the past that mentions Charles refusing to eat Nigella’s cooking. It was always framed as being a case of an eccentric rich idiot with a limited palate (kinda like Hef) but after all this doesn’t it look like an abuser taking any opportunity to belittle the victim by running down her life’s work?

  56. Jayna says:

    The Daily Mail article yesterday broke my heart. She didn’t leave him. He’s shut her out. I said before he was probably blaming her for all this public mess and she had no choice but to leave him because of his unrepentant remarks as excuses. But even past that, he seems to not be trying to keep her at all, call her at all from the article. She is in pain in all these photos not because she’s heartbroken over leaving him. It’s more that she’s lost him in that he’s not reaching out trying to make amends, get her back. He’s left her. Nothing like the cold fury of an emotional abuser trying to make you feel disposable.