Nigella Lawson: domestic violence victim?

Nigella LawsonI’ve been a fan of Nigella Lawson’s for a few years now. If you’re not familiar with her, she’s made a name for herself via television cooking shows and cookbooks. She’s beautiful (she’s a former model and journalist) and has an earthy style that makes her someone to be envied, but also someone you can relate to. She cooks pretty simply, she doesn’t always measure, she accepts her mistakes and moves on — I like her style very much. I have one of her cookbooks and have enjoyed using it.

She comes from a very wealthy background, but also an abusive one. She’s written about her mother, who beat the children mercilessly. I haven’t seen anything about her father in that regard, but he was an important British politician.

Her sister died of cancer and her first husband died of cancer, leaving her with two young children (now 17 and 19, I believe). Shortly after her husband died, she got involved with Charles Saatchi, an art tycoon who is also extraordinarily wealthy. They married 10 years ago and live in a home worth around 12 million pounds — that’s more than $20 million.

She’s also described her current husband as “the exploder,” alluding to a very bad temper. ┬áHe has been quoted as saying he never eats her cooking and that it is “wasted” on him. Wow, what a horrible thing to say, considering who she is. I hate to say it, but that’s common among abusers, to bring down their partners publicly — especially where it would hurt them most, emotionally.

This week, photos surfaced of her husband with his hand on her throat, while the two had dinner at a restaurant — they were seated outside. Here is a link to the article with all the photos. Warning: the photos are disturbing.

Saatchi was cautioned by police, a warning that could lead to prosecution if he does anything like this again. He had tried to explain it away as a “playful tiff.”

I’m sorry, but she doesn’t look like she’s having any fun.

She reportedly left the family home with her 17-year-old son. I, for one, hope she never returns. No one should be treated that way, ever.

Can we always know what’s going on in a relationship? No.

Can we make a judgment based on a few photos? To that, I say yes. There is never an excuse for touching anyone like he is touching her. Especially your wife. In public or in private.

I suspect Nigella is a victim of domestic violence but, like many of us who have found ourselves in that situation, she doesn’t even quite realize it. Maybe this incident will help her in some way.

And I certainly hope she is not embarrassed by the photographs. HE is the one who should be embarrassed and ashamed. But if he’s like most abusers, he’ll continue to rationalize his behavior and make excuses.

We’ll never know what the whole story is unless she comes out and tells us. I do hope that she can take time to herself and make the best decision possible, whatever that is.

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