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the nigella and saatchi thing

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The photos that shocked us all

Like most people in the UK, I was absolutely shocked on Sunday by the photos that appear to depict Charles Saatchi with his hands around his wife’s throat.

I phrase it that the photos of him and Nigella Lawson ‘appear to depict’ because we all know just how deceptive photos can be – but it certainly looks pretty damning.

I asked the question (again, probably like many others), why the hell was someone just photographing it, and why doesn’t it look like anyone at all (including the photographer) tried to intervene.

I saw many utterances on the subject saying “Don’t blame the people who didn’t help, blame Charles Saatchi for being a wife-beater” etc etc but bollocks!  I am also looking at those people (or at least ONE person) who witnessed this despicable act and apparently did nothing!

This brought home to me a rather harrowing moment when I was stood on the tarmac at Faro airport with the man that I had been uncontrollably in love with for many years and he put his hands around my neck and squeezed.

I have no idea at all what would have happened if two men hadn’t stepped in and dragged him off of me.  Well, actually, I do know what probably would have happened, but I don’t really want to think about it.  It DIDN’T happen.

Now, like Nigella, I am not exactly ‘a delicate little flower’ incapable of holding my own, but this man was the most powerful guy I have ever known (one of the reasons I was attracted to him in the first place I will admit).  I was also shocked, dazed, embarrassed, heartbroken and absolutely livid.

Of course, there is a hell of a lot more to my story, and I could bore people to death with it, but my point is PEOPLE STEPPED IN.  They saw what was happening and they did something about it.  I can honestly say that I am eternally grateful for that. Especially the poor guy who took a punch for his troubles.

But surely that’s human nature, isn’t it?  I’d like to think so.

So, yes, if what appeared to happen in those photos did actually happen, then Charles Saatchi is an evil, despicable, power-hungry man who deserves his dick cut off – but I would also quite happily lightly maim the photographer and any other witnesses who just sat and watched and did nothing to help or comfort a violated woman – no matter who she was.

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  1. June 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I agree with everything you say here although I think you have answered your own question why some people don’t get involved, the guy that helped you got smacked in the face! , people imagine alot worse and generally watch on.

    A few years ago I saw a bloke beating his girlfriend in the park, me and my brother pulled him off her, only for the lovely lady to start attacking us! , Id still get involved though even so.

    • June 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      I’ve stepped in before…with strangers and with friends.

      Obviously there can be risks involved, but to be REALLY honest – would Saatchi be likely to cause much harm to someone else in a public space at what is no doubt an exclusive restaurant.

  2. Alan Shaw
    June 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I’ve stepped in a few times too. Once on public transport when everyone looked the other way as I found myself taking on a couple of drunks, another time in the street. The first lasted about a minute and the second a bit longer before someone rang the police. I have a feeling the ‘violent’ bit of the CS incident was very short lived and the time factor affects those present. I’m more surprised and disappointed that apparently no-one sought to assist NIgella afterwards.

    I also empathise with Chris’s comments about coming between partners: anecdotally the reaction he got is not at all uncommon. And CS & Nigella are – or possible now it should be ‘were’ – partners.

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