Nigella Lawson Strangle Photo: “A Playful Tiff!” Says Husband

by Hallie Marks

A warning: this post contains a photo and descriptions of domestic violence.

Disturbing pictures of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson being choked in a restaurant by her husband of 10 years Charles Saatchi started circulating over the weekend. The couple was in a British restaurant Scott’s, which is known for being frequented by celebrities, when the incident occurred.

A witness said: “I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and was constantly dabbing her eyes.”   Lawson has apparently since left the home with her son (from a previous marriage). It has been noted before the Saatchi is very controlling and has a bad temper.



Saatachi released a statement defending his actions, saying: “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.” He continued, saying: “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…”



No. There is no excuse for attacking a partner (or anyone) and there is no such thing as playfully grabbing someone’s neck when they are obviously distressed. This is not even a poor excuse for terrible behavior; this is no excuse at all. Abuse, especially in a public situation, is intimidating and humiliating. Hopefully, the one positive of this being a public incident is that Nigella will gain the support she needs to stay away, press charges, and escape an unhealthy situation.

If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship, you can call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or visit for more information.


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