Charles Saatchi Dumps Nigella Lawson Because She Hasn’t Been Supportive Since He Grabbed Her Neck

What Women Really Think
July 8 2013 3:27 PM

Charles Saatchi Dumps Nigella Lawson Because She Didn't Defend Him Against Abuse Charges

110044688
Nigella Lawson

Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Charles Saatchi, the advertising mogul who was photographed with his hands brutally grasping the neck of his famous wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, in London last month appears to be setting a new land-speed record for self-regard. Over the weekend, Saatchi announced that he would be seeking a divorce from Lawson. The grounds? That she'd been insufficiently supportive of him in a difficult time.

"I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way," Saatchi told the Daily Mail.

Advertisement

Saatchi's disappointment apparently stems from the fact that Lawson's PR representative told him to apologize publicly and say he was ashamed by the incident, which he was disinclined to do. Which might have been reasonable if Saatchi was fighting charges from Scotland Yard with Lawson's support. But he's not. Saatchi accepted a simple caution from Scotland Yard, which, as the Guardian puts it, "are given to save the expense and logistical difficulty of a full court hearing and happen when someone admits what is usually a relatively minor offence." That pretty "good" deal isn't enough for Saatchi, who I guess wants to be able to admit guilt to Scotland Yard while maintaining the opposite to the public.

It's rather telling that Saatchi's actually surprised that Lawson is unwilling to defend him in public—a defense, by the way, that probably would not have restored his reputation. If recent history, like Rihanna's reunion with Chris Brown, is any lesson, asking Lawson to testify to Saatchi's goodness would only have made her look like she was trying to rationalize returning to him, rather than telling the truth. Her words would do little to actually erase those paparazzi snapshots. Saatchi may have made his money in advertising, but he appears to have forgotten the power of an image.

Alyssa Rosenberg writes about culture and television for Slate’s “XX Factor” blog. She also contributes to ThinkProgress and theatlantic.com.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?