Nigella Lawson's Husband Gives Jaw-Dropping ‘Explanation’ for Choking Her in Public

Horrifying 12

Nigella LawsonIt must be a paparazzo's ultimate dream to have the good fortune to be present with camera in hand when a celebrity gets involved in an incident of shocking public behavior. That's one explanation for why no one intervened when famed chef Nigella Lawson's husband Charles Saatchi got physical during an altercation between the couple a week ago, but it sure would have been nice if whoever kept snapping photos had taken a moment to approach Saatchi and, oh, I don't know, maybe politely asked him to stop violently choking his wife?

At any rate, the ugly fight has been splashed all over the media now, thanks to the images that document how Saatchi squeezed Lawson's neck and viciously pinched her nose while they were at a restaurant together. You won't believe the explanation Saatchi gave for what happened -- and I'm hoping Lawson isn't buying his outrageous excuse either.

If you've seen the photos, the fight looks downright nasty. Lawson is clearly distraught as Saatchi wraps his hand around her neck and, at one point, painfully tweaks her nose. Afterwards, she was photographed in tears, covering her mouth in a moment of pure misery.

Today Saatchi offered an explanation for the images, brushing it off as a perfectly normal private moment taken out of context:

About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella's neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasize my point. 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.

Jesus. In what universe is it okay to hold someone's neck even once, much less repeatedly, while emphasizing your point? I'm pretty sure that's the standard definition of domestic abuse, and if he thinks it's okay to act like that in public, god only knows what's happening behind closed doors.

I'm particularly troubled by the fact that he categorized this as a "playful tiff." There is nothing -- NOTHING -- about the images or Nigella Lawson's facial expressions that looks playful. It looks to me like a woman being assaulted. Full stop.

In the wake of the incident, Lawson's spokesperson has issued a short statement:

Nigella and her children have moved out of the family home.

That sounds hopeful, but Saatchi says there's an explanation for that too:

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.

We can't know what's really going on between these two, but the combination of the photos and Saatchi's description of the incident make me hope like hell that Lawson is in the process of kicking this man to the curb, or at least demanding that he get counseling for his anger issues. I know relationships can be complicated, and it's really none of our business what this couple mutually decides is acceptable -- but I hope this highly publicized event does some good by showing Nigella Lawson that none of us believe she should be treated that way.

What do you think of Charles Saatchi's explanation for these photographs?


Image via Splash News

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LostS... LostSoul88

It's a stupid excuse. As I said before he he's made of money, he will never see a day in court and he probably has lawyers threatening his wife if she were to pursue charges

Jennifer Ives O'Meara

the story does make a normal person want to scream and ask why someone did not intervene, but try and remember, that is not a smart solution if say, the person who is witnessing is not an individual who can safely do so. i know it sounds dumb to say, but if i was a young mother out with my children, I might only risk screaming at the man, or going to restuarant management. If I was out by myself, or with my husband (he always got my back, he'll hit first, question later) i would have intervened immediately, and knocked that old smoking pos on his ass. 

Kathleen Anderson

I'm glad that herself and her children are out of the house and safe. also hope they stay that way!!!
As far as what he has to say, it's bullshit, I'm hoping some woman playfully kicks him in his balls. He's a bully and should be treated as such.

keelh... keelhaulrose

Had someone loudly objected to his behavior he would have stopped- deep down abusers are cowards. They have power over their victims, but know if they confronted a bystander they'll be facing charges.

nonmember avatar justme

What a coward. He is a typical abuser in denial. She needs to run for the hills as fast as her feet will carry her. But carefully as leaving an abuser can be dangerous.

Rache... RachelsMercy

@LostSoul88- I agree fully. Even if they don't have money men can still make it impossible for a woman to leave.

nonmember avatar Angel

Charles Saatchi has a history of being a nasty bully, see this video of how he bullied his own brother for years Lord Maurice Nathan Saatchi, and also pop impressario Pete Waterman http://archive.org/details/CharlesSaatchiProfessionalBully and after reading the top Charles Saatchi quote here, I would not let him near children http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/oct/05/advertising.art

nonmember avatar saera

There are a lot of women married to men like that, most just keep quiet, I think probably, it starts to feel as if nobody can help and Im betting he has threatened her any time her little voice even spoke of divorce. And so what if his first wife may not have been treated like that: he is jealous, and insecure of Nigella, and he probably has done a lot of snarly bullying behind the scenes. A person becomes beaten down emotionally. Playful kick in the shins? I cant imagine my Dad doing that to my mom, but Im betting that statement he made out of his own guilt to cover up the times he probably has lashed out at her violently. Shameful, my heart goes out to her because im betting she has put up with that a while behind the scenes. He is abusve, and knows it, but wants to cover it up, that is not love.

Dwite Dorsey

well at least he lets her wear shoes, she has done the pregnancy thing and she loves the kitchen,,hmmm..sounds like she's happy to me

Dwite Dorsey

i have no pity for her,,as a black person..we too were oppressed by the white man...obviously in England ..white men do what they want...the only white man i seen get slammed for this was phil spector...racism and sexism go hand in hand..usually it is a white man who oppresses both..btw Spanish people are white too..mexicans, latins,hispanics..abuse women and are racist also

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