Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Nigella and Charles: is this their final chapter?

Nigella Lawson: time for a fresh start?

Dark, voluptuous and a great cook, Nigella Lawson is everything I'm not and I like her all the more for it. We don't hear too much about her in Sydney but when we do, she reminds me of my life in London. 

My husband and I were given How to Eat as a wedding present and I bought How to be a Domestic Goddess when I was pregnant with my first son. I loved her elegant and rather camp writing style as much as I loved her recipes. She was part of London weekends too. When The Times  plopped through the letterbox each Saturday morning, I would go straight to the magazine. For her column about beauty and make-up (wittier and more intelligent than you might think) and her first husband, John Diamond's column about his battle with oral cancer. Reading them both was a Saturday morning ritual and I joined the nation in mourning when John died. More than a decade later, I still have Nigella's books on a shelf in my kitchen and dip into them regularly, especially when I'm planning on baking.

She hasn't been much on my radar over the last few years. Those Twinings ads are enough to make me want to give up tea altogether and I haven't bought any of her recent books. But I couldn't have been more horrified to see her on the news this week, with her husband, Charles Saatchi's hands around her throat. I read that Saatchi has now been cautioned by police yet, bizarrely, he claims no real harm has been done:

"Nigella's tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt."

If that's what he thinks, Saatchi evidently knows more about fiction than the rest of us. I was relieved to hear that Nigella and her children from her first marriage had left the family home. I hope they don't return. Nigella has already lost her mother, Vanessa; her sister, Thomasina; and her first husband, John. After so much sadness in her life, I'd like to think her story will have a happy ending. After what's unfolded this week, Saatchi is no hero in my book. I hope to God, he isn't in hers.

What do you think?


  1. Is tragic to see rich men can get away. Dreadful

  2. So true. He has every advantage in life and no excuse for such appalling behavour.

  3. Perhaps we have misunderstood ...

    He bravely "accepted" a police caution (is that optional?) because he wanted to prevent the "altercation" from hanging over the couple and their children. How selfless.

    You can't keep a bad man down ...

  4. Indeed. How extraordinary that he should try and position his behaviour positively. Guess that's what comes of a career in advertising - delusion.

  5. Leaving aside Saatchi's inexcusable behaviour and contemptible comments afterwards, I can't be the only person to feel guilty about taking an interest in this sad episode. I am aware of my hypocrisy in clicking on the link to read the story while hating the fact stories like this exist to feed our voyeuristic lust. I especially despise the paparazzi who took the shots of Nigella Lawson in tears - while actually looking at those shots.

  6. I agree with you to some extent but at the same time I'm almost pleased it happened in public; much better than behind closed doors where things could have got even more out of hand. Yes, it does make voyeurs of us all, but even the uber arrogant Saatchi should have got the message by now that pretty much every intelligent person on the planet thinks this kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable.