Yesterday, the Mirror printed a horrifying set of photographs in which Charles Saatchi is apparently choking his wife Nigella Lawson. Specifically, the photos show Saatchi's hand wrapped around Lawson's throat. She is grimacing, terrified-looking, and in tears. Following a much-deserved public outcry, Saatchi has reportedly been skipping his scheduled press appearances. And now he's made finally a statement about the incident, and it's unfathomably callous, delusional, and disturbing:
About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella’s neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasise my point.
There was no grip, it was a playful tiff. The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place. Nigella’s tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt.
We had made up by the time we were home.
This is complete and total bullshit. There is no such thing as "holding someone's neck repeatedly while trying to emphasize a point" in a "playful" manner. There is no such thing as an "intense debate" that doubles as a "playful tiff." Saatchi's behavior was intimidating, publicly humiliating, and abusive. According to an onlooker:
It was utterly shocking to watch. I have no doubt she was scared. She was very tearful and constantly dabbing her eyes. Nigella was very, very upset.
Hopefully, no one in the world buys this tepid, transparent, and hideously insufficient excuse. Scotland Yard is aware of the photos, although Lawson hasn't lodged an official complaint. Earlier today Ms. Lawson was spotted leaving her and Saatchi's shared home with a suitcase and her son (Saatchi claims this is because he "told Nigella to take the kids off till the dust settled"). As of now, according to the Standard, she has no immediate plans to return.
Hopefully, she stays away for good.
"EXCLUSIVE: 'It was just a playful tiff': how Charles Saatchi describes pictures of him holding wife Nigella by the throat" [the Standard]
Image via Getty.