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Nigella Lawson in an abusive relationship?

Reading the morning headlines online and stumbled across this. Which shows reports of Nigella being upset and choked by her husband at a restaurant! (apparently no one had cell phones?) I guess it's true everyone has their own problems.


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  1. The Daily Mail has the pics, of course.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EM23

      Just makes me sad. Obviously we don't know what really went on but she seems like such a nice and gracious lady. (to be fair, Kerry Vincent seems like a bitch on FN but upon meeting her she was ultra nice and friendly and a ton of fun). I just hope she's okay. Hate that her kids will have to hear about this in school as well.

    2. Nigella needs to get ahead of this story. Her career could take a hit on many levels.
      First and foremost, tho, she needs to get herself and her kids out, like yesterday.

      16 Replies
      1. re: monavano

        They are already out of the house. The hubby who so far is the only one talking said it was because of the papps. They wanted to get the kids away.

        1. re: Firegoat

          Hubby also says he was playfully choking Nigella. Yeah, cause that's how one plays!
          I wonder if he was an Average Joe and not so wealthy if his keaster would in behind bars by now.

          1. re: monavano

            all levels of creepy going on. I've always liked her and how she embraces what she does.

            1. re: Firegoat

              I agree; I like her too, and feel sad that all of this has to go down in the public eye.

            2. re: monavano

              She looked more alarmed than amused. Reports say he choked her repeatedly and no one intervened. Sheesh.

              1. re: mcf

                I spent a year (hell) doing ONLY domestic violence prosecution. This makes me so uncomfortable and itchy.

                1. re: Firegoat

                  It got "itchier" after her husband called it "playful" and said she cried because neither of them enjoy arguing in public. CREEP SHOW.

                  1. re: mcf

                    And then they talk about her relationship with her depressed mum ... just very sad.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Unreal. He's also implied that N. and kids are out of the house on his suggestion....to protect them from "the press".

                      1. re: mcf

                        He "plays" rough ... Or so the pictures show

                    2. re: mcf

                      I can't believe that so many people watched it all unfold yet no one tried to intervene and protect Nigella. How sad and disturbing! But this is the same society that drive Diana mad...

                      I hope she and her children are safe

                      1. re: Njchicaa

                        ABC News had something similar on their show "What Would You Do?" using actors where a guy was verbally abusive to his "wife" (who had makeup bruises on her face and arms).

                        The overwhelming majority of those interviewed did not step in, because of the potential of the abuser turning on them with a steak knife from the restaurant's table.

                        ETA: I do wish someone would have called the police, however - in both the WWYD? and Nigella situations.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          My brother and I confronted a guy who was being extremely rough with his wife/girlfriend in a public place. She called the cops on us.

                          1. re: donovt

                            Unfortunately, not unusual at all for the victim to protect the abuser.
                            You still did the right thing.

                    3. re: monavano

                      My curiousity got the better of me and I clicked out to find the pics.

                      Playful my ass.

                      Look at her eyes.

                2. Very hard to understand that no one intervened. Some bloke should have put this jerk in a choke hold.

                  1. I'm glad she and her kids have reportedly moved out. I wish I could un-see the photos. V. upsetting.


                    13 Replies
                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      TDQ: her "kids" are 18 & 19 y/o...

                        1. re: JonParker

                          Well... folks are speaking about them as if they were little children. And they're not. That's all, JP...

                          1. re: Gio

                            I'm still glad they are gone, though I understand your point that they might be a lot more vulnerable if they were very young.


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Thanks TDQ. That's exactly what I meant. And I agree that it's better that they're all out of the house.

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Remember, the children were just kids when Nigella brought this man into their lives. Very impressionable.
                                I hope they can witness an end to the cycle of abuse, because chances are, they will continue it.
                                They've been exposed for a long time.

                                1. re: monavano

                                  We don't have any evidence that this was part of a cycle of abuse.

                                  It could have been a one-off thing.

                                  We're speculating too much.

                                  Anyway, Nigella seems to have left him.

                                  1. re: Roland Parker

                                    On the one hand I agree with you that there's a lot of unfounded speculation going on here.

                                    On the other, abuse is almost never a one off thing. If it's happening once, it's almost certainly happening other times.

                                    1. re: Roland Parker

                                      Actually, we do have evidence of a cycle of abuse. There is a picture of them in that same restaurant a few months earlier where he has his hand clamped over her mouth.

                                      1. re: MelMM

                                        I hesitate to round that earlier incident up to "abuse", although it clearly showed that Saatchi is a jerk. We now know that he is also delusional, since he apparently thought that people would accept "I held Nigella's neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasise my point" as a remotely plausible explanation.

                                        1. re: DeppityDawg

                                          Yeah, no bonus points for having avoided actual homicide.

                          2. I guess he turned himself into the police and got a police "caution." Sounds like a clever way to avoid a criminal charge.


                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Firegoat

                              Saatchi told the London Evening Standard he came to this decision because "I thought it was better than the alternative of this hanging over all of us for months."

                              Saatchi told the Standard, "Although Nigella made no complaint I volunteered to go to Charing Cross station and take a police caution after a discussion with my lawyer."
                              Jesus. Yeah, the lawyer told you if you didn't, you could face criminal charges.

                              1. re: Firegoat

                                A caution is common here (in the UK). It's issued entirely at the discretion of the police. Nothing "clever" about it as part of our criminal justice system.


                                1. re: Harters

                                  But is it common for someone to go to the police to seek a caution before any complaint has been filed? The police were reportedly investigating the incident; would Saatchi's action not have been an effective strategy to bring this investigation to a speedy close, and prevent them from questioning Lawson and prying further into their relationship?

                                  1. re: DeppityDawg


                                    No, it's definitely not common for someone to go seek a caution. That's not to say that it's unheard of, and his solicitor may well have suggested it. And a caution certainly brings any criminal issues to a close.

                                    However. And it's a fairly big however. The caution is reliant on the police thinking this would be the best course of action, as opposed to arresting someone and bringing the case to prosecution, via the Crown Prosecution Service. One can only assume that the police considered the interests of justice were best served by this. The only information the general public has, is that which has been reported in the press. I assume the police have a better understanding of the likelihood of bring the matter to trial. On the face of it, their lenient view of the case seems at odds with what might reasonmably be expected in a domestic violence case -although anyone with experience in the criminal justice system will tell you they can be the devil to prosecute. First, there has to be a complainant and, second, the complainant needs to be willing to take the matter into court. It is a known difficulty - although who knows if there is anything of that in this case.

                              2. I have to say, whoever let the headline "Arti-Choked" get splashed on this article needs to get a "caution". It's beyond distasteful.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: monavano

                                  LOL.... I mean maybe if it had happened to Aarti from Food Network.... no. still distasteful.

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    We are accustomed to distasteful from the Sunday People.

                                  2. Another take on the soft wrist slap to her hubby by the police.

                                    This site is SFW visually but may have language inappropriate for your workplace or for children.

                                    1. I was always taught that if a man has two hands around your neck, the idiot is leaving himself wide open. My knee would have launched that man into tomorrow.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: KrumTx

                                        What I found very disturbing is that Nigella didn't seem to be defending herself at all! A knee to the groin if you can manage it would be great, but she didn't even have her hands up to her neck to pull or push him off.
                                        She looked like a helpless puppy.

                                        1. re: monavano

                                          And it's not like he took her by surprise. This apparently went on for some time, and he put his hands around her neck several times. It's clear that we don't know exactly what was going on. While Saatchi's story seems fishy to me, I also don't believe he was trying to strangle his wife in the middle of a restaurant and she was just letting him do it. I would love to hear her side of the story.

                                          1. re: DeppityDawg

                                            I don't think he was homicidal, but interestingly,
                                            "Choking, experts say, is one of the most pervasive forms of domestic violence, with its overtones of power and control, and one of the best predictors of more serious violence. “A woman who has been choked is seven times more likely to be the victim of a domestic violence homicide later,”


                                            Like Oda Mae Brown said, "you in danger, girl".

                                            1. re: monavano

                                              "Like Oda Mae Brown said, "you in danger, girl"."


                                              1. re: monavano

                                                OMG my first husband did this to me (not in public). So glad I got the hell out quickly. I was in denial until he hit me with a clenched fist. That was the last of it. But the choking was the most terrifying thing he did. Now I know why.

                                            2. re: monavano

                                              Well, she *was* seated, so a knee to the groin would be difficult. But witnesses said she did push his hand away once. But the snaps that the paparazzi sold were of her *not* resisting.

                                              And she's been with him for 10 years. She may have become so cowed by him that she wasn't going to defend herself.

                                              I found these paragraphs telling at the link below:

                                              "Saatchi, who describes himself as a control freak and at times “cringingly vain” has also said his wife’s cookery is wasted on him and he ­prefers ­nursery food such as eggs and beans on toast.

                                              Nigella once said of him: “Charles doesn’t really like proper food. He prefers a bowl of cereal.”

                                              One acquaintance who had a ­conversation with Nigella recently said: “For Saatchi, Nigella has eclipsed him and he’s grumpier.

                                              “His ultimate act of rebellion has been to reject her food. I have a ­feeling that drinking and smoking come into this as well. Her first ­husband John Diamond died of throat cancer in 2001. Yet Saatchi smokes.

                                              “She’d never say anything about it though. She wouldn’t like to do ­anything to upset him.

                                              “Nigella is in awe of him and ­surprisingly lacking in confidence herself. She has been thrilled by the ­reaction she has been getting in America after appearing on TV."


                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                He's a grown man; he's allowed to drink and smoke and eat beans on toast if that's what he likes. If he's doing these things specifically to belittle Lawson's career and remind her of her dead husband, that sucks, but those are very difficult-to-prove accusations. What is proven is what we have photos of from that restaurant, and I really can't imagine any explanation that could make that OK.

                                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                  I don't disagree that it's hard to prove, but he's admittedly a control freak and cringingly vain. And if she's eclipsed him in recognizability, that control is lost.

                                          2. Sadly, she seems to have been unlucky in love ...

                                            1. I snap the wineglass against the edge of the table, and go for his eyes.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. Folks, this thread is about a pretty sensitive topic, so we'd ask that people be careful in what you post. Moreso than usual, please avoid speculation and things that are just unrelated personal comments about the people involved.

                                                1. The good thing that is if this is truly abusive she does have the financial resources to walk away. Many abused women don't. However, a lot of abuse is psychological. I hated the "cowed" comment. I wish her the best.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                    Exactly. The psychological abuse can sometimes be worse than the physical abuse. The psychological stays with you longer. I do hope that her leaving means she's done with him for good.

                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                      she may not be at a point where she *can* walk away -- and that has nothing to do with money or power.

                                                      Hopefully seeing herself in the newspaper with his hands around her throat will get her to *can* -- quickly.

                                                      I've never been subjected to physical abuse, but I can attest first-hand that even verbal and emotional abuse is hard to walk away from.

                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                        I follow Nigella on Twitter. She usually tweets several times a day. Her last tweet was June 15 about green tea and a toasted buttered bagel. If this were just a "playful misunderstanding," I think she'd be back in the public eye. Especially on Twitter where she's very diligent.

                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                          Abuse victims often rationalize or diminish actions by their abusers. I'm glad these pictures were taken, hopefully it will help Nigella.

                                                        2. in all these pics she looks like and reminds me of Amy and just as beautiful

                                                          10 Replies
                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                              I have no idea who Amy is, but I agree that she's take my breath away gorgeous.

                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                  Given what happened to Amy and what's just happened to Nigella this isn't a very optimistic comparison.

                                                                  But indeed, both are gorgeous.

                                                                  1. re: youareabunny

                                                                    and I'm not sure "gorgeous" really fit Amy so much in her last years. Utter tragedy.

                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                      I always thought she was gorgeous, but I agree that it was tragic. I'm not sure comparing Nigella to her is appropriate.

                                                                      What really annoyed me was the Australian female DJ who tweeted "if you expect us to buy your books you'll take a stand on domestic violence." She tried to backtrack, but it was still a really horrible thing to say to someone who is obviously in the midst of a bad time. I think we can all agree that domestic violence is a serious problem, but that was just totally inappropriate.

                                                                      1. re: JonParker

                                                                        That is truly insensitive and ignorant thing to say. Nigella needs support, which is a large reason why DV victims remain in their situations.

                                                                      2. re: sunshine842

                                                                        I agree. The only solace I find is that she got to share her talent with the world and that she finally has peace. But it could have, and should have, ended much differently.

                                                                        Gone too soon.

                                                                        1. re: youareabunny

                                                                          that she *soon* has peace. Chances are it's not going to peaceful for a while now.

                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                            Was referring to Amy. As for Nigella, I hope she has some good people around her for support.

                                                              1. I'm shocked and saddened by what happened to her. In fact, I was lunching at the very same restaurant just a few weeks ago, and even saw her there - and I thought she'd never looked more radiant. Obviously, Scotts is a favourite restaurant of hers.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: klyeoh

                                                                  I recall your thread, mate. Just assumed that the reference to Nigella was a throwaway remark, not that you'd actually seen her.

                                                                  'Tis only a one pointer for a sleb spot - sleb in sleb restaurant isnt worth any more. Pope in Scotts would be the full five points.

                                                                  If good is to come from this, then maybe it will be about a further raising of the profile of the crime and, perhaps, reminding the Met of its committment to deal with such matters seriously.

                                                                  Although I assume if there was no complainant, there was limited courses of action available to the cops.

                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                    I'm really, really hoping that the reason that there was no complainant because *she* felt it was overblown, too.

                                                                    But I don't really believe that.

                                                                    My experience around physically battered women and as a verbally battered woman (ex) makes me sad that she didn't complain so she didn't get hell beat out of her when the Met served the warrant.

                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                      If there is anything that might be called "good news" from this.....then my morning paper reports that Refuge, the domestic violence charity, has had a "surge" of phone calls and emails from other victims. If it is raising the profile and encouraging others to come forward to seek help and guidance then, perhaps........

                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                        That is wonderful. When victims realize that they are not alone, that something can be done, they see hope.

                                                                        Nigella has become an advocate for DV whether she wanted to or not.

                                                                        1. re: youareabunny

                                                                          I know much more about DV than I wish I did. I'm just encouraged that she's out of there. I hope she has people with her to keep her strong. It's very hard to make a break with.

                                                                  1. Today's update:


                                                                    Saatchi says he's divorcing Nigella (without bothering to tell her in person, on the phone, via email, or even SMS...letting her discover it in the press....


                                                                    Because she didn't jump up to defend his behaviour.

                                                                    What a dbag.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                        He seems to be blaming her:

                                                                        " ... 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 insisted that his actions had not been "violent" and claimed that Lawson, to whom he has been married for 10 years, had grasped his neck in the past because they were both "tactile" people'.

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                          This is like a lot of these celeb stories. The public will probably never know the real story and the press goes wild with speculations. It's trite to say, but no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

                                                                          1. re: zuriga1

                                                                            other than the existence of photographs showing him with his hands wrapped around her neck...not once, but twice.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              And I hate to point out the biological differences between the sexes, because we are all about equality and everything, but how many times has a man strangled a woman to death, and how many times has a woman strangled a man to death? (I'm absolutely not suggesting that Saatchi was seriously trying to murder his wife on the terrace of a popular London restaurant, but the idea that "I can put my hands around her neck to emphasize my point, because in the past, I have also allowed her to touch my neck!" just seems like another insane public statement from this strange, repulsive man.)

                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                              Smell funny to anyone else? Sounds like some witnesses got paid off. But who knows? Maybe not?

                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                Nope. Sounds right to me. The sisters are obviously going to use Saatchi's email as part of their defence that Lawson knew they were spending the money. If that fails, then they appear to be bang to rights on the fraud charge.

                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                  I'm guessing the case gets dismissed, the sisters are free of all claims, and Saatchi gets her smeared internationally. Win/win for Saatchi. He has so much money he won't even notice that pittance.

                                                                              2. re: paulj

                                                                                I see.....so he abuses her publicly, but it's all okay because she did drugs.

                                                                                Asshole (Saatchi, not you, paulj)

                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                  Oh dear.

                                                                                  The UK press is all over this news. I'm really not sure what to think and I don't want to jump to conclusions but unfortunately the drug use does offer a fairly rational explanation for Saatchi's treatment of Nigella at the restaurant. The press are implying that Saatchi had just discovered the drug use and was demanding that Nigella 'fess up during the dinner and one of the photographs shows him holding her nose and probing it, as if he was looking for evidence of a coke addiction.

                                                                                  On the other hand I find it hard to believe a wife could keep such a profound drug habit a secret from her husband for ten years.

                                                                                  For Nigella's and her family's sake I really hope all this is not true and only slander. But I have a sad feeling that's not going to be the case and Saatchi was actually miscast as a villain despite remaining silent about the drugs till it was forced out by the courts.

                                                                                  1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                    'unfortunately the drug use does offer a fairly rational explanation for Saatchi's treatment of Nigella at the restaurant'
                                                                                    Hmm, I guess we know whose side you're on.

                                                                                    1. re: M_Gomez

                                                                                      I am not defending Saatchi's treatment of Nigella at the restaurant last June nor am I on anyone's 'side.'

                                                                                      But if I'd just found out that not only my husband hid a major drug habit from me for the past ten years, but also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process and potentially even exposed our children to drugs....well, while I can't honestly tell you what my immediate reaction would be let's just say he'd better hope there isn't a cast iron frying pan in my hand.

                                                                                      Sudden discovery of something of this magnitude, a major drugs habit, the loss of £300,000, deliberate deception over a decade, can cause people to react very strongly and while we may condemn it in other people if we haven't been through such an experience it's really hard to say we wouldn't react along similar lines too.

                                                                                      As it is, it's not a defense of Saatchi but I can now understand how and why he may have lost his temper in such a public manner. While I don't excuse him for it I now have an explanation for the whats and whys that make sense.

                                                                                      1. re: Roland Parker


                                                                                        Saatchi isn't claiming that the public indicident was provoked by the revelation, but the 2 did occur about the same time:

                                                                                        "....I believe it was in about June 2013, at the time of the well publicised incident at Scott's restaurant – around the same time I was told about her drug use by my daughter Phoebe. It was confirmed by other people in and around the household."

                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                          Another Guardian item, with more focus on the accused assistants
                                                                                          Notice that this case opened August 2012, before the June 2013 incident.

                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                            "Gajjar [the accountant] agreed that though he had received copies of the six private credit card accounts each month, he had filed them "without any degree of scrutiny"

                                                                                            "He said he was unable to comment on large payments on some of the other assistants' statements, which included £1,368 that one of the five, Alice Binks, had spent at the nightclub Annabel's, and a bill of £2,358 at Donna Karan charged to her credit card by another PA, Alice Wales."

                                                                                    2. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                      Rational? Rational.

                                                                                      You use that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means.

                                                                                      1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                        Well, that's our tabloids for you , Roland.

                                                                                        Meanwhile, the broadsheets are rightly more concerned with the ongoing story that, effectively, police officers allegedly fitted up a cabinet minister. One will face a criminal prosecution, while others will face disciplinary proceedings which would see them fired. We ask ourselves if the police can do that to a senior politician, what hope does a young working class lad have of truth and honesty from the cops.

                                                                                        1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                          Drug use and drug abuse are 2 different things.
                                                                                          Who said it was a "profound drug habit"?

                                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                            Had a professor in the 70s that said the only way to abuse a drug is to put it on the ground and step on it

                                                                                          2. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                            No, it absolutely does not. Addiction/drug use is a perfectly valid reason for divorce or separation, but it is not an excuse for choking someone.

                                                                                            1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                              (in more family-friendly language)

                                                                                              Bilgewater, poppycock, and balderdash. Hogwash, bullhonkey, and utter rubbish.

                                                                                              There isn't ever a good excuse or a good explanation to use violence.

                                                                                              Abuse isn't ever understandable, and isn't ever justifiable.

                                                                                              1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                It would only offer an explanation if Saatchi was the one doing the drugs.
                                                                                                I doubt Nigella could have been abusing drugs, especially cocaine, for 10 years and not be skinny as a rail now. Instead, she's nice and voluptuous. She looks like a real woman.
                                                                                                I also doubt you could live with a druggie for a decade and not notice anything in their behavior, their absences (to get or do drugs), and drug paraphernalia (and containers for the prescription drugs) around the house. If nothing else, there would be smeared mirrors from the coke...

                                                                                              2. re: paulj

                                                                                                in my post on this thread from jun 20 :
                                                                                                I think I nailed it.

                                                                                                she just looked it to me

                                                                                                sad, cause I have always loved her
                                                                                                and her books
                                                                                                and her shows
                                                                                                and everything about her
                                                                                                she is a goddess
                                                                                                domestic and otherwise
                                                                                                I can only think that her losing her sister and her late husband and many other things...
                                                                                                she had to look somewhere
                                                                                                too bad
                                                                                                I wish her the best and speedy recovery from the british tabloids

                                                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                  I don't think she has ever reached the cold, miserable depths that Amy sank to.

                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                    She has never appeared impaired to me. People with chronic drug problems don't look as she has looked on the TV programs on which she has appeared - fully alert, clear-eyed, quick on the uptake, etc. Even if not actually high at the moment, chronic drug users look lousy most of the time. You certainly don't look totally normal - and yet her husband knew nothing of this until the two former employees made this claim, a full year after their arrest?

                                                                                                    With the 24/7 gossip industry these days, how is it that no one - producers, co-stars, frenemies - no one ever leaked this to the press before? How is it that she was stoned every day and no one noticed? How did she function so well if she was a daily user of coke, weed, and pills?

                                                                                                    I say it is bull.

                                                                                                    1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                      You'd be surprised how extremely functional habitual drug users can be and are. Without "looking lousy most of the time".

                                                                                                      Really. *Especially* coke.

                                                                                                    2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                      Stoned and coked out for 10 years, and NO ONE knew? I call bullshit as well. If she were that bad, those in the industry would have known.

                                                                                                      She has never looked that way in any of her appearances on The Taste in the U.S.. Hell - Bourdain would have recognized the signs, having BTDT himself.

                                                                                                      And these employees coming out a year later? Sorry, they're moneygrubbers. Plain and simple.

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        The ex-employees are not "coming out a year later" as such. The ex-employees are being prosecuted for a £300K fraud. If they were not being prosecuted, none of us would know anything about this.

                                                                                                        No doubt, it will be interesting to see what evidence Lawson and Saatchi give. I think they are the principal prosecution witnesses. Perjury is a regarded as a very serious offence in the UK.

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          Perhaps that is true. And yet, this information the former employees have is convenient for Saatchi. Were they paid off by him to "reveal" this information? Who knows. Just seems too suspicious to be revealed now.

                                                                                                          But I still contend that someone in the industry would know she was doing coke and smoking pot on a "daily basis". She would not look the way she does, nor would she act the way she does.

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                            LW - I'm not sure I understand the "convenient" for Saatchi. In this trial, he is the victim and a witness. As is Lawson.

                                                                                                            I'm not a lawyer but wonder whether about the defence argument here. I would have thought if it is being alleged that Lawson allowed the spending so that the sisters would keep quiet about the drugs, is that not blackmail (and a more serious offence, I think)?

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              Yes, in THIS trial. It's also ammunition for Saatchi in any child custody issues - even for her own children, should he choose to go that route. Which I wouldn't put past him. Even if he doesn't get custody of her children by her late husband, if he makes it as difficult as possible for her to be with them, I think he would.

                                                                                                              Saatchi's got more money than her. He's continuing to look to publicly humiliate her. This is just another way of doing so.

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Yes, but all Saatchi is saying is that he believes the two sisters.

                                                                                                                There is, as yet, no evidence that would stand up in any British court that Lawson has taken drugs. Without some independent evidence, you're going to have the sisters saying Lawson took drugs and Lawson saying she didnt. I doubt whether a jury would give that sort of scenario much credence as a defence.

                                                                                                                By the by, there is no issue of child custody (or wont be very soon). Her daughter is 19 and her son, if not already 18, will be within a few weeks.

                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                  OK, so the kids aren't an issue. But obviously, Saatchi, despite being divorced from Lawson will be like Alec Baldwin was with Kim Basinger - continuing to find any way to publicly humiliate his ex-wife, including agreeing with two people who are being prosecuted for fraud against Saatchi and Lawson.

                                                                                                                  Stellar person, that. He still remains a asshat.

                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              I'm genuinely curious -- how does someone who does coke and weed on a daily basis look or act, in your opinion? Have you actually interacted with someone who does this?

                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                Yes, sadly, I have. I have a friend who tokes all day long. She never gets totally trashed. She just maintains a steady buzz. She's been doing it for years. And much as I think occasional use is fine and support legalization, I have to admit that chronic use is a problem. Her brain is like swiss cheese. She can't cope with ordinary everyday stuff; she gets hysterical over nothing, she can't make decisions, her judgment is seriously impaired. As for her appearance, the eyelids are always a bit droopy and there is always a slight delay while she takes in what you said and then tries to process it and come up with an answer. Sometimes she forgets midway through and there is a sort of blank moment and then she says, "wait, what are we talking about?" And there are a lot of non sequiturs, too, because sometimes the info gets twisted into something else while she's processing. She was a brilliant woman. Sometimes we still see glimpses of that.

                                                                                                                1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                  Bummer. Luckily, pot doesn't have this effect on everyone.

                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    I doubt that many people maintain a constant buzz. Most people are occasional users. Same diff as an alcohol abuser vs. someone who has a couple of drinks now and then.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                      Well, you know one already. There are plenty of others.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                    Sounds like my Berkeley roommate who smoked weed morning, noon, and night. She could never remember anything she'd read the day before. Flunked out, of course.

                                                                                                                  3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    Yes, I have. They're alternately unfocused and unable to really to carry on a logical conversation, to hyper-focused on the most minute thing that has no relevance to what is going on at the moment.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      Interesting. I know plenty of highly (pun intended) functional drug users who do not display any of these issues on a regular basis -- guess it's like with so many other things in life: different behavior for different folks. This comment applies to JV's friend, too.

                                                                                                                      I'd say that coke users in particular tend to be rather focused and efficient at what they do -- just look at Wall St. for one example.

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        that's the scary thing -- the truly hard-core users (one might even say addicts) act completely normal, even when they're buzzed/baked/stoned out of their gourds.

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            it is when you find out that the colleague whom you *thought* was a clear-headed, high-functioning individual was really an alcoholic of the drinking shoe polish variety.

                                                                                                                            Actually functioned better plastered out of his mind.

                                                                                                                            That is kinda scary.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                              Better to function than not. It's like drunk driving -- the more one does it, the better one gets.

                                                                                                                              Not that I recommend it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                just the thought that he was driving himself to and from work every day....yike.

                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                      I had a close friend who turned into a heroin addict when she went to college. Her appearance was a dead giveaway that something was terribly wrong! She went to residential treatment in Switzerland and stayed at the treatment center for 3 years.
                                                                                                                      I had another friend, after college, who dealt coke and got into his own supply daily. He ended up emaciated (coke is a real appetite suppressant) . At some point he got crosswise with his major suppliers and had to get out of the state with some speed. He was allowed to stay at my house with conditions - no coke in the house, no coke being consumed, no coke being dealt, and he had to be at dinner every night with the rest of the family. His mother was thrilled by his weight gain and generally improved appearance!
                                                                                                                      After moving to California he went into treatment, got clean, earned his realtor's license, and was doing wonderfully. Then, in a terrible coincidence, he was killed by a drunk driver, as had been his younger sister years earlier. The autopsies on both of them showed no drugs or alcohol in their systems.
                                                                                                                      So yes, you can tell when someone is doing lots of drugs.

                                                                                                                      1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                        Depends on the drugs and the someone.

                                                                                                                        Sorry, but we'll just have to disagree on that. No biggie '-)

                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                          Well, in my undergraduate days at UC Berkeley back in the late 60's, I'd have to say without hesitation that I could ID a hard-core druggie in 5 seconds flat. Someone on coke going under the radar? Impossible.

                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        <I'm genuinely curious -- how does someone who does coke and weed on a daily basis look or act, in your opinion? Have you actually interacted with someone who does this?>

                                                                                                                        If you'd followed the sad, sad life of Whitney Houston, you'd have seen what it looks like. Nigella in no way fits that profile. I think she's being framed. And her husband has enough money to do that.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                          Whitney did crack, kind of different. Human biochemistry varies hugely, and a lot of folks use drugs, knowingly or not, to self medicate. For some folks, their behavior and manner might improve with various forms of drug use. At least for a while, maybe even long term. Belinda Carlisle might be one example.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                            Oh, it was almost impossible *not* to follow Ms. Houston's sad and tragic life.

                                                                                                                            That said (and for the last time, promise!), I know *plenty* of habitual drug users who are highly functioning, hard-working, socially capable individuals. Often *under* the influence.

                                                                                                                            It's no secret that many people self-medicate, and in many cases with more success than with what the pharma industry would have them shove down their throats instead.

                                                                                                                    3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      Stoned and coked out and still all that plus curvy?

                                                                                                                      I don't buy it; it sounds like that Saattchi pig continuing his preferred form of abuse: public humiliation, no holds barred.

                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                        I tend to agree with this. Again, all speculation, but Saatchi has buckets of money. Believes he created the domestic goddess image, and now that it isn't his he's going to take her down.
                                                                                                                        He informed her of her divorce by notifiying the newspapers to make it as public as possible....

                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                          I don't buy it either. I don't see how she could have been a daily drug user with her schedule and it not be generally know to many people around her.

                                                                                                                          And why is an accusation ( with no proof) made by these two people already being prosecuted, given any credence at all in the court of public opinion? I tend to think the only people that believe them are those that either thrive on nasty innuendo or don't like her anyway.

                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                          Even if Bourdain recognized the signs, I doubt if he would have blabbed about it. He can be blunt about people, but he's not one to reveal confidences or to take unfair advantage of others.

                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                            And I think he'd much rather share a blunt with people.

                                                                                                                    4. The good news out of all this mess is that at least she got offered a new TV show ... I hear it is going to be called "Baking Bad"

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                          You're awful - and I mean that in the best way! Wonderful!!!

                                                                                                                        2. This man is a dog in a manger. If he can't have Nigella, no one can.
                                                                                                                          Leave me? I'll ruin you!
                                                                                                                          Here's the thing... if Nigella has a voracious appetite for drugs, why the F*ck are you complicit?
                                                                                                                          Sorry, it goes both ways.

                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                            Wonder if the Food Network & all other media is gonna drop her?

                                                                                                                            1. re: chloebell

                                                                                                                              why would they drop her? Because her evil bastard of a husband said something nasty (and thus far unsubstantiated) in the divorce proceedings?

                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                Indeed. All the evil bastard has done is say that he believes what the two defendents have claimed about her taking drugs. It is for the sisters to produce evidence in court to substantiate their claims - if they can.

                                                                                                                                In fact, his testimony today is clear. " "If you ask me whether I actually knew whether Nigella ever took drugs, the answer is no," Mr Saatchi told Isleworth Crown Court" (BBC)

                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                  You'd think such a control freak would have noticed, just a tad.

                                                                                                                                2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                  The current news isn't from divorce proceedings; it's a criminal case against the assistants. The divorce itself occurred at the end of July (and was quick).


                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    doesn't change the gist of my comment at all.

                                                                                                                                    It's still a nasty and unsubstantiated claim by a bitter ex who admits he never noticed any actual drug use.

                                                                                                                                    (interesting that the divorce itself was so UNpublicized)

                                                                                                                                3. re: chloebell

                                                                                                                                  Maybe he was thinking of the whole Paula Deen fiasco. Allegations of drug abuse might have been seen, at least by Saatchi, as the equivalent of being a racist. I can't see it, but domestic violence perpetrators aren't rational human beings.

                                                                                                                              2. Further from the BBC:

                                                                                                                                "Mr Saatchi said he rejected the suggestion his former wife's mind was so "addled" by drugs that she was not aware what she had or had not permitted the sisters to buy. "Are you asking me whether I think that Nigella truly was off her head?" he asked.

                                                                                                                                "Not for a second. Over this whole period she was writing books very successfully and appearing on television shows very successfully."

                                                                                                                                When questioned if he believed the claims, Mr Saatchi went on: "I may have believed it but I may have been completely wrong and they may have been deluded."

                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      Doesn't he realize he's already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion? That verdict was issued the moment people saw the restaurant photos.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        and well-earned it was...there's no mistaking those photos for love-taps or horseplay....he released his intent to divorce her to the press before he bothered to let her in on the news...and went to the police station to accept a rap on the knuckles rather than being charged for domestic violence. (eta: and that's just off the top of my head without researching the whole sordid affair...)

                                                                                                                                        I'd give the guy more leeway had he done anything at all to NOT be the bad guy.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                          Just by the by, I understood it was Lawson, not saatchi, who petitioned for the divorce.

                                                                                                                                          Some interesting revelations about their marriage hinted at in this article in the Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celeb...

                                                                                                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                          Link to the full text of Saatchi's email:


                                                                                                                                          I'd still suggest that it will be interesting to see what the defence in the case actually is. As we know, the email is only a comment on remarks made by the sisters, as sent to him by a newspaper.

                                                                                                                                          As for him getting a bad press, it doesnt seem to have put former fashion guru, Trinny Woodall, off him. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/...

                                                                                                                                      2. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                        He made "a terrible mistake". YA THINK????? Dooshnozzle.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        Hey, that's not fair. I like Nigella and don't believe she has a drug problem. But I always liked PM Thatcher too:-)

                                                                                                                                      2. Unfortunately there is one piece of solid evidence which indicates that at least some point Nigella was high out of her mind on drugs. Exhibit A: Photo of Saatchi.

                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                          The bigger the bank account, the better looking one gets ;-)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                            Although, at fifteen million, she's hardly short of a quid or two herself.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                            I've only seen photos of his face. Who knows, he may have other… assets.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                              Yeah. We all know women marry for the size of someone's dick. Ha.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                  So she did marry him for the money, is that what you're saying? Or was it for his jaunty sense of humor and winning personality?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                    How on earth would I know? People marry for all kinds of idiotic / less idiotic reasons.

                                                                                                                                                    Frankly, it's none of my business.

                                                                                                                                            2. Nigella is on the stand today. Live coverage updated here.

                                                                                                                                              1. More on the testimony with more photos.

                                                                                                                                                If that's what being out of your mind on drugs daily makes you look like, I'm in. She is definitely showing the stiff British upper lip. Good for her!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                    She says she feels like she's on trial. What a load of bollocks.

                                                                                                                                                    A distinct difference between her feeling she's been on trial and the two actual, real-life defendents being on trial is that the latter will go to prison if guilty. All she'll get is bit of bad press - if that.

                                                                                                                                                    Have to say that the testimony from both Saatchi and Lawson has been odd. They're supposed to be (a) the victims and (b) prosecution witnesses. But I've yet to read of any contribution either has made to the prosecution case. Just weird.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                      <"She says she feels like she's on trial. What a load of bollocks.">

                                                                                                                                                      Isn't that because the questioning has been about her marriage, Harters?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                        Never mind the bollocks. She's NOT on trial and she feels threatened.
                                                                                                                                                        Not good.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                          I love Nigella, but am I the only shocked about Nigella's admission about her drug use? I didn't expect that. And to smoke pot in front of your kids? Not cool.

                                                                                                                                                          Things aren't always black and white, they're usually gray. While Saatchi may be an ahole, Nigella has some issues too.

                                                                                                                                                          Also, these ladies appeared to have run up the most obscenely high charges and where was Nigella? Paying any attention?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                            I am not shocked at all. We are of that generation, after all. And consider the circumstances - taking care of her dying husband and two kids.

                                                                                                                                                            Don't know when she toked in front of the kids, who are currently 18 and 16 but I agree - that's not the smartest thing to do.

                                                                                                                                                            As for paying attention to the household budget - these are enormously wealthy people accustomed to having someone take care of those things for them. Where was their accountant while this was going on? But in any case, why do you assume it was the woman's job to mind the bills?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I'm of that generation too, but why blame others for your bad behavior?

                                                                                                                                                              I didn't assume it was the "woman's" job to mind the bills, and resent that remark. The testimony referenced Nigella and the account.

                                                                                                                                                              Look, I've worked for very wealthy people (Nobel prize winner), and trust me they do keep tabs on their money.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                I could be wrong here, but I recall from reading early on in the case that the assistants were originally Nigella's, but after her marriage they reported to (and assumed are paid by) Saatchi's company.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                  Well, from that we can conclude that at least one family does. but not what others do. Many, if not most, have money managers on whom they rely.

                                                                                                                                                                  Hence the Madoff decades, and many other such stories.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                    Believe me, Madoff kept track of his money. (I know that's not what you were referring to) ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                    So where are the "money handlers" in this case and why didn't they notice anything askew?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                          There's a very deeply sorrowed and broken soul in her face here:


                                                                                                                                                          No matter what happened in the past, her life is forever profoundly changed. Other than the drug use (which is wrong) I feel she's bearing a heavy heavy cross.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                            This has to be a huge emotional upheaval for Nigella. Sad for her.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                            I really couldnt care less if Saatchi is an unpleasant gob-shite or if Lawson is a druggie.

                                                                                                                                                            There's still little evidence today from one of the victims that is going to convict the defendents.

                                                                                                                                                          3. I wonder where Nigella got her coke from....

                                                                                                                                                                1. Not guilty verdicts just returned for both sisters.

                                                                                                                                                                  Probably not surprising. Lawson's admittance of taking illegal drugs may well have introduced "reasonable doubt" in the minds of the jury that she had, ahem, underestimated her consumption in her evidence.

                                                                                                                                                                  25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                    Bummer for Nigella to have been drug through all that (literally) and still lose. There were a lot of problems and inconsistencies in the testimony far beyond any drug use. What a mess.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                      And not a recommendation for our criminal justice system. Both sides, prosecution and defence, seemed very light on hard evidence.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                      I love Nigella and hope this is rock bottom for her and a wake up call to get her act together. She never should have stayed so long in that abusive relationship.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                        What do we know about her, other than the TV persona and what is covered in the tabloids?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                          We know that she lived in a relationship that she felt terrorized by for years.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                        not surprising. sadly, not at all. Nigella knew the outcome, it was he that put this forth. if not for the money alone, for spite. I have stated that to me she looked to be a druggie, but that may be only because of my own experience. she is still beyond beautiful and a real goddess. I wish her speedy recovery from the british tabloids.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                              I want to look like a "Druggie" too. They are hot!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                Amy, Nigella, dangnabbit, they are Gorgeous !

                                                                                                                                                                                Both their stories are well worth a butchers.

                                                                                                                                                                                How they end up with Geeezer Grass I'll never know...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                  Let's not forget that Amy ended up a wasted, ruined scrap of a body. She *was* beautiful when she was healthy, but that didn't last very long.

                                                                                                                                                                                  don't get me wrong -- I love her music, and her loss was a blow to the music world. It's a tragedy that we'll never hear what she could have moved on to write.

                                                                                                                                                                                  But she *was* a druggie (*addict* for those incapable of understanding the term), and it destroyed her body, her career, and ultimately her life.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                    let's pray for a speedy recovery for Nigella from the british tabloids

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                      I get the impression that Americans love her more than her own countrymen. Or maybe she has just as many fans on both sides of the ocean, but would-be American detractors have never heard of her. The British PM was reprimanded by the judge for expressing support for her while the trial was going on (w/ potential for biasing the jury?).

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                          Benny Hill was much loved and very popular in the UK - although not by me.

                                                                                                                                                                                          By the by, over the last couple of years, we've revisited all our cookbooks to see if they still deserve shelf space. If we couldnt find a single recipe we still wanted to cook, then it got culled. Only two of Nigella Lawson's survived the cull (Feast and How to Eat). Like Jamie Oliver's food, we find that the more recent books just arent things we want to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                            Speaking of British recipes, we in the USA are getting a bit of an education on this from April Bloomfield, in her episodes on PBS Mind of a Chef.


                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry if you can't watch these outside of the USA.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                              I've never heard of Ms Bloomfield. Had to Google. I see she had a good training at three very decent London restaurants. That said, I understand she was "recruited" by American chef, Mario Batali, who I wouldnt recognise if I fell over him. Know the name but that's all.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                If you fall over someone in shorts and orange clogs, that is Mario.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm listening to Britten's Midsummer Nights Dream. The Oberon/Titania feud reminds me of this modern Saatchi/Nigella one. Maybe the domestic goddess really is the Queen of the Fairies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Her lemon caper dressing is absolutely fab, Harters. Great with fatty meats!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                          Let's not forget she OD'd on booze, after having tried to quit on her own for two weeks. But there were a lot of other things in the mix, for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Shame. What talent, what loss.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yep. But an addict, nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Her duet with Tony Bennett was magic --and he spoke almost reverently -- in a nutshell, that she was one of the best he'd ever worked with. High praise indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                      If we're going to chat about the folk in the public eye who take, or have taken, illegal drugs, then we're going to be here for a long, long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                    focus on Nigela


                                                                                                                                                                                    focus on the assistants

                                                                                                                                                                                    "Don't give people credit cards, fail ever to check the statements before paying up, then become outraged when it turns out that the credit cards have been used."

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like "blame the victim" when it comes to credit card use or abuse.. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I didn't want to fire up a brand new thread just for this:


                                                                                                                                                                                    Charles Saatchi's art selling firm (there's surely a better name for that) is selling paintings of Charles choking and otherwise abusing Nigella. Yikes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                                      He calls it Saatchi Art, which is separate from his Saatchi Gallery. The art world is unfathomable at times.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                                          What a hateful POS. You get what you give…his is coming.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                                            Anything in the name of art, right?
                                                                                                                                                                                            And it's pretty dreadful art at that, but then the British art market these days seems to go for paying obscene amounts of money for items that are an obvious swindle. All in the name of Art. (see Damien Hirst)