Was Nigella abused by her absurdly rich, cantankerous, reclusive, eccentric husband? Guess what? That is for Nigella to decide and everyone else can shut the hell up.

19 Jun

The pictures are everywhere. Charles Saatchi, with his hands around the neck of the Domestic Goddess, and her in tears. They are at a public restaurant, and when they are done talking, he tweaks her nose and she kisses him, then downs a glass of wine, and they leave.


Let’s start with a bit of background. Charles Saatchi was born in 1943 to a wealthy family in Bagdhad, Iraq. The family was Jewish, and anticipating that Iraq was not long going to be welcoming for people of that faith, the Saatchi family relocated to England.


Charles spearheaded one of the most successful advertising agencies in the world, and he was a prolific supporter and collector of the arts. He launched the careers of Damien Hirst (who sucks), and Tracie Emin (who is a bona fide idiot).



Your filthy bed is not art. I don’t care what art critics say. They’re wrong.


Saatchi was a huge supporter of Margaret Thatcher, and played a vital role in the campaign that resulted in her election and the subsequent transformation of England. Apparently, he’s a bit of a dick to everyone he meets, and he was eventually forced out of the agency he founded. He backs the innovative, the controversial, the provocative, the divisive, the rebels with or without a cause.

Not exactly an ordinary man.

Saatchi also dabbled in the literary arts, penning a book delightfully called Be The Worst That You Can Be: Life’s Too Long for Patience and Virtue.


Everyone is needy, arrogant, callous, aggrieved, self-absorbed, petty, mean-spirited, spiteful, greedy, envious, ill-mannered and malicious. In some measure some of the time. Only when you accept that much of the pleasure of being alive is to enjoy your own horribleness, and the character flaws in everyone around you, will you find harmony and each day will pass more sweetly.


Sounds like a charmer, no?

He’s worth about 135 million pounds, so being an eclectic, unrepentantly intractable maverick has paid off handsomely for him.


Nigella Lawson, AKA the Domestic Goddess was born in 1960 in London to a posh family. Daddy was the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and she rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous from birth. Her first husband died of cancer and within months she had moved in with her second husband, Charles Saatchi.

book 2


Given that Daddy was an MP in Thatcher’s cabinet, it is highly unlikely that Nigella had never heard of Charles Saatchi and it would be a dubious claim to say the least that she was unaware of his reputation as an asshole.

A very, very rich asshole, but an asshole nonetheless. Here is Charles deciding he has heard enough of his wife’s blah blah blah and putting a hand over her mouth. What a dick!


Gosh, do you think it’s possible that Nigella is the very first beautiful woman in the history of the world who married a much older, much wealthier man? A man with a reputation for belligerence and anti-social sulkiness?

I recall hearing at some point or another that chicks dig really rich alpha males with a flair for jerky behaviour, but that’s probably just bullshit. Right?


Now, Nigella is no slouch in the money department, worth up to 10 million pounds herself, but the difference between 100 million and 10 million pounds is the difference between sunning in the south of France at a lovely chalet every year, and flying to one’s chateau on a private jet every weekend.

There are benefits to wealth.

There is also a price. There always is.

Predictably, the media response has been to jump all over Charles, and to conjure up a compelling portrait of Nigella as a Victim ™. Damien Hirst would be delighted. Gross caricatures, with no relationship to or understanding of reality.

Life imitates art. I really don’t like Damien Hirst.


What is this crap? Diamonds on a skull? Ed Hardy did it long ago. And the shark. Don’t even get me started on the shark. The Sistine Chapel? Art. Transformative, powerful, aesthetically perfect, compelling, evocative and technically exquisite.


The shark? Stupid.


But I digress. Is it possible that Nigella is a victim of brutal domestic violence that has blighted her life and crushed her self-protective instincts and destroyed her self-esteem, as the media claims on her behalf? Sure, it’s possible. But that is not the only interpretation of so-called “domestic violence”.


Here’s another possible interpretation: Nigella admires and respects her husband for his rebelliousness and eccentricity and his awesome command of the worlds he inhabits. Perhaps she LOVES his unwillingness to take any shit from anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances, including her. She would not be the first woman to respond to men who are domineering and physically imposing. Indeed, it seems like we ALL like men who are commanding and tall.


Most of us, in ways that we are not entirely aware of, automatically associate leadership ability with imposing physical stature. We have a sense, in our minds, of what a leader is supposed to look like, and that stereotype is so powerful that when someone fits it, we simply become blind to other considerations.


Here’s another possible interpretation: Nigella adores drama. She deliberately provokes Charles into behavior she can well and fully predict, because she likes the rush of adrenaline and the feeling of power that provides.


Here’s another possible interpretation: Nigella gives as good as she gets, but she’s smart and media savvy enough to keep her punches to the head in the privacy of their home. Most domestic violence is mutual. Nigella and Charles could be equally guilty.


Here’s another interpretation: Nigella is on the market for a new husband, and she needs some sympathetic media coverage to ensure she takes as much of Charles wealth as she can. He pled to a “caution”, which means he admitted the assault. He won’t be able to turn around later and say he never assaulted the poor dear. That’s a beautiful advantage to take to court, no?


Which one of these scenarios, if any, is true? I have no idea. And neither does anyone else. The ONLY one you will see reported in the media is the first one. Poor, poor Nigella. Abused by her monstrous husband. The new face of domestic violence.




Let’s pretend for one moment that Nigella is a completely awesome, spectacularly intelligent and capable woman utterly in control of herself and her life. We’ll pretend she’s a fully actualized human being. Oh come on now. Play along. Some women are, you know.

Nigella’s story is HERS to define. The media and the general public does not get a say in how her marriage operates. They do not get to define what does and does not constitute “abuse”. That is for Nigella to decide, and thus far, she has declined to involve the police in any way.

Whether or not the crown prosecutors get a say is another story. When it comes to domestic violence, the ground is murky. It is often said that one cannot rank oppressions or suffering, but that is laughable bullshit. Charles put his hand around Nigella’s throat. That is wildly different from banging your partner’s head off the wall until they are unconscious. We have degrees of assault and battery for a reason. Getting slapped is not the same as getting hit with a shovel.


Charles is on record saying the interaction was a “playful tiff” and that Nigella was crying because she hates to fight, and not because she was hurt.


Is that true? I don’t know. Neither do you. You know who does? Nigella.

And until she speaks, if ever she cares to speak, everyone else can just shut the hell up. Nigella’s life is hers to decide. She has choices to make and consequences to contend with, as do we all. Holding her up to reflect one, and only one story of domestic violence, which may or may not be true, is a way to paint ALL domestic violence as a story about men as monsters and women as angels.

Sometimes that really IS the story. Sometimes it’s not. Let’s not forget that Nigella is the Domestic Goddess. And some Goddesses are right proper bitches who will kill you dead.


Every culture has them: Goddesses to be reckoned with. Perhaps Nigella is the Goddess to fear in the UK? It’s possible. We’ll see.


I just pray Damien Hirst doesn’t decide to use the episode to vomit forth another piece of his crappy art. Goddess forbid!

Lots of love,


48 Responses to “Was Nigella abused by her absurdly rich, cantankerous, reclusive, eccentric husband? Guess what? That is for Nigella to decide and everyone else can shut the hell up.”

  1. Alex June 19, 2013 at 16:40 #

    the last part of the title reminded of Walter from Jeff Dunham’s pieces. i would have to agree with Charles’ version as that picture of him choking her didn’t necessarily look all that intense.


  2. John June 19, 2013 at 17:08 #

    I’ve choked one woman in my life. And it was only because it made her orgasm like Mt. Vesuvius. Don’t discount the possibility that he just gave the public a little window into their sex life. In my experience, it’s not a question of if your woman likes rough stuff, but what kind?


  3. Radical Suburbanite June 19, 2013 at 17:11 #

    Nigella strikes me as a woman who is fully able to be where she wants to be. If she stays with her husband than I have to presume she is likes the drama and that he is probably not actually abusive but rather flamboyant and prone to big gestures (like the hand over the mouth) and that she likes it. But who knows?

    I’m reminded of a co-worker of my husband. She’s married to the creepiest guy. He literally gives me the heebie jeebies. I don’t get the sense that they have a close relationship, but he makes a lot of money. He’s known to cheat and to be a general all-around asshole, possibly abusive as well, but she likes the lifestyle so she willingly turns a blind eye. I can’t imagine what that example is going to do to their daughter.


  4. earl June 19, 2013 at 17:14 #

    Tounge kissing a skull was the most disturbing thing of all the photos.


  5. desperada57 June 19, 2013 at 17:16 #

    Walter and Acccchmed are my favorites. That incident could well have been a form of foreplay.


  6. feeriker June 19, 2013 at 17:23 #

    I actually saw it as a metaphor for a whole lot of disturbing things that are characteristic of today’s relationship culture.


  7. feeriker June 19, 2013 at 17:29 #

    Your filthy bed is not art. I don’t care what art critics say. They’re wrong.

    There’s a very simple rule for answering the question “is it art?:

    If ANYONE can do it/create it, then no, it is NOT art.

    That picture of the messy bed is a perfect illustration of this question being answered. As my wife will readily attest, I can mess up a bed and its surroundings much better than the creator of that picture did, without even half trying. But I don’t call myself an “artist” when I do it. Whoever created that scene in the picture was a rank amateur in the practice of slovenliness.

    I’m gonna be really upset if I find out that that picture fetched a large sum of money from someone who obviously has more of it than “common” sense (Charles Saatchi?).


  8. princesspixiepointless June 19, 2013 at 17:31 #

    I think the bed was burnt and destroyed in a warehouse fire a few years back.
    The bed, or that bed was a low point in British art, for sure.


  9. princesspixiepointless June 19, 2013 at 17:33 #

    Within Mexican culture and the celebration of the dead the creation of sugar skulls has been going on for centuries. Damien was quoted saying, he wanted to reflect what was around him, then he realised he was surrounded by money. So made the diamond skull.


  10. feeriker June 19, 2013 at 17:43 #

    Yes, Nigella definitely comes across as a “big girl” who is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. I have to believe that if married life with Saatchi was really insufferable, she would already be gone, with or without a portion of his assets.

    As JB indicates, this is one of those “and people care about this BECAUSE…?” stories.


  11. Tim June 19, 2013 at 18:16 #

    That was my first thought as well. He chokes her quite a bit and she likes it. She has grown up being daddy’s little girl and getting everything she wants. She has now found a man who puts her in her place and she gets off on it.


  12. Gypsygirl June 19, 2013 at 18:19 #

    Looks like they have a Dom/sub relationship from here, and as my mother always said you have no idea what goes on in a marriage unless you’re in it.


  13. Aki Widad June 19, 2013 at 18:34 #

    simply brilliant (as always judgyB)


  14. Alex June 19, 2013 at 18:41 #

    i was going to mention that last part, but i didn’t have the energy. nephews passed some fucking bug to my dad which i got earlier today.always happens if he babysits while their sick, yet if i do it, nothing. bloody ridiculous


  15. HateFeminists June 19, 2013 at 21:30 #

    maybe they were having a “50 shades of grey” moment, a little kink can be a healthy thing. maybe the feminist media needs to learn to mind their own damn business…


  16. earl June 19, 2013 at 21:57 #

    The whole point is context…and the media can create whatever context they want from a still photo. More often than not…it isn’t the truth but an agenda.


  17. LostSailor June 19, 2013 at 23:15 #

    It’s quite correct that no one knows what goes on in a marriage unless you’re in the marriage. Lawson doesn’t strike me as a shrinking violet, but then, I don’t really know her.

    But the fact that she made no complaint about what went on in that restaurant is irrelevant to the feminized media and feminist shriekosphere. They will be on the case for her. If she were to deny that anything untoward was going on, they’ll claim she is a victim in denial. They need victims and if someone won’t toe the line, then they will manufacture a victim.

    More and more, I see feminists moaning about how exhausted they are about all the supposed sexism and misogyny they have to combat on a seemingly minute-by-minute basis.

    I have a different theory. It’s really the effort needed to be strong and independent women and simultaneously potential victims constantly fearful of the potential depredation of any man in their vicinity. Now that sounds exhausting…


  18. Ter June 20, 2013 at 01:13 #

    That photo with Charles putting his hand across Nigella’s mouth – is disturbing and actually rather funny.

    Funny because it seems so ridiculous. If I didn’t know it was a candid photo (and I’m not sure it isn’t) then I would have assumed it was staged satire.

    It’s as though he’s watching TV and decided to hit the mute button – oh wait, can’t find the remote? So shut off the volume on the set, I guess. It would make much better art than ‘the bed’.

    At the end of the day – if someone is mentally competent, prepared to tolerate that sort of treatment and go back for more and more while having the ability and ample opportunity to walk away.. well, I would not see it as my place to get involved.


  19. Spaniard June 20, 2013 at 08:02 #

    I love that British goddess…Rebeka Brooks, the right hand of Ruppert Murdoch. I would love to be he sub. Would love to be her doormate.
    Oh, Heavens!

    That thing about heighth… it is interesting. It works the same to women. The amazon woman. It is defenetely my type. That is why I love Russian women. 1.80 m (6 feet) it is quite normal in Russia for females, especially Baltic Russia.


  20. Vladimir June 20, 2013 at 10:33 #

    I’m sorry to say this, but this blog is going downhill. The thought-provoking topics handled with nerve and savor have turned into irrelevant and shallow bitching. And now even celebrity gossip…


  21. Glenfilthie June 20, 2013 at 13:00 #

    When I was a boy I lived on a small farm with my parents. Down the road lived a couple of lesbians. Back then we didn’t recognize them as such, nor comment on it. Both were fairly ugly man-haters but my mom got along well with them and enjoyed their company. Pop and I tended to wander off and do our chores when they came over to visit. After awhile I noticed something odd with my parents.

    When they were together in front of the lesbians Pop would get surly and abusive toward Mom. ‘Get me a sammich,’ he would bark – ‘and bring it out to me in the garage right away!’ Mom, would, under ordinary circumstances – tell him to shove his sammich and his orders up his ass – but when the lesbians were around she would snap to it and cluck like Edith Bunker as she scrambled to do Dad’s bidding.

    I didn’t get what was going on until I noticed that this little game was driving the lesbian harridans stark fuggin nuts! They raged at Mom for putting up with Dad’s abuse and ignorance. Mom dismissed them saying that she loved Pop and that he wasn’t really a bad guy…and I laughed like hell when I figured out that this was an act put on for the benefit of our man-hating lesbian neighbours. They dykes never caught on to the ruse and it went on for years.

    I wonder if these two aren’t playing to the cameras the same way Mom and Dad played to the angry lesbians all those years ago? Hell, I would love to ‘beat’ my wife in a public restaurant and watch the old biddies flip out as my wife and I pulled the wool over their eyes! I would angrily tell the pastey faced paparazzi to go suck a fart and dodge their questions. I would angrily glare at my wife as she gave them just the merest hint of the horrible abuse she suffered at my hands! And we would laugh like hell afterward, and bask in the free publicity and the revenues it generated.

    Screwing with the ignorant masses could be a great deal of fun and highly profitable…


  22. Spaniard June 20, 2013 at 13:28 #

    A few years ago there was a criminal case in Spain which became very popular: “The case of professor Neira”. Everything was capted by cameras.
    It happened like that: in a hotel hall, there was a couple having a very violent struggle. The guy was shouting at her, badly. Then he pushed her and she felt to the floor. Then, there was another guy watching all from the other side of the hall, this guy was a university professor (professor Neira) This guy acted brave and with chivalry and he went to help the lady. He took the lady from the floor and he started reprimand verbally to abuser. Then, the abuser pushed him on the face and professor Neira felt to the floor.
    He had to be taken to hospital and he almost dead. He had, because the punch, a blood hemorrage in his brain. Finally, he saved his life.
    The aggressor went to jail and, the same days this professor was in the hospital, struggling for his life he putted in danger to rescue the lady, this lady went to a talk show. And in the talk show she start passionately defending his boyfriend, the aggressor, and insulting professor Neira. She deeply loved her boyfriend and she deeply thought professor Neira was scum.

    It is time to wake up about women.


  23. Alex June 20, 2013 at 15:03 #

    you can’t expect feminists to provide that kind of fuel all the time or people not to get burned out


  24. boredinbouldaire June 20, 2013 at 16:45 #

    Yeah, nothing like faking a domestic to keep others away from the good camp spot.


  25. desperada57 June 20, 2013 at 18:03 #

    Sorry about that, Alex. Feel better soon!


  26. desperada57 June 20, 2013 at 18:04 #



  27. desperada57 June 20, 2013 at 18:07 #

    My husband’s type too! I’m 5’10” ;-D


  28. TMG June 20, 2013 at 18:08 #

    JB, I think it’s about time you submitted to the female borg-mind. Clearly, they know what’s best for you. Stop resisting, you have a vagina, you should under no circumstances think for yourself.


  29. Alex June 20, 2013 at 18:45 #

    One of those one day bugs that aren’t extinct because of small children


  30. Exfernal June 20, 2013 at 20:01 #

    Oh, well. Perhaps this article might be more to your liking.


  31. feeriker June 20, 2013 at 20:07 #

    This is why any cop will tell you that getting between a couple in the middle of a domestic row is one of the most dangerous situations they face – and that it is more often than not the woman from whom they face the most danger. She could be getting the shit beaten out of her by the man, but the minute anyone intervenes in an attempt to “save” her, she morphs from a shrinking-violate victim into a predatory amazon who acts to “defend her man.” Women truly are bat-shit crazy.

    Common sense dictates that the last thing any man should ever do is intervene in a domestic dust-up involving a couple he doesn’t know (or, hell, even one he DOES know).


  32. TMG June 20, 2013 at 21:49 #

    Very true, and this is why it is extremely important that men do not come to the aid of women unless they are flesh and blood or a very good friend.


  33. feeriker June 20, 2013 at 21:58 #

    Sorry, “shrinking-violet (Spell cop was out on a donut break).


  34. feeriker June 20, 2013 at 21:59 #

    Extreme caution and second thoughts should be exercised even then.


  35. Marlo Rocci June 20, 2013 at 22:28 #

    I so need to read this guy’s book.


  36. Vladimir June 20, 2013 at 22:52 #

    Thanks for the link. I saw this coming a long time ago.
    The USA is one of the few environments for science progress right now. If it gets ruined, the consequences will be horrendous.


  37. Goober June 21, 2013 at 00:43 #

    If you think this article is about celebrity gossip then I would suggest that you’ve missed the point entirely.

    That, and complaining about free content that doesn’t meet your standards seems a bit ingratious. You may want to consider that


  38. GrimGhost June 21, 2013 at 01:55 #

    Your statement is wrong on so many levels: Borg and feminists are not the same.

    Any feminist would tell you that Seven Of Nine is a dupe of the Patriarchy. C’mon, large breasts, a skin-tight outfit, and high heels? Seven knows that Ensign Kim and The Doctor lust after her, but she doesn’t denounce either of them? Seven Of Nine is a total disappointment to The Cause.

    Even the Borg Queen is a disgrace to feminism. In _Star Trek: First Contact_, one entire scene is her trying to arouse Lt. Data. Whereas any feminist will tell you that a man’s purpose is to arouse _her_, dammit!


  39. Master Beta June 21, 2013 at 07:54 #

    Now now, not all woman bat-shit crazy, and men are equally bat shit crazy, just in a different way. Like this Neira person, running to protect some woman he didn’t know anything about – bat shit crazy.


  40. Gem (@Gemmarees) June 21, 2013 at 09:13 #

    Apart from the worrying “she married a grumpy asshole so a bit of public choking serves her right” flavour (which seems more Mrs JB sucking up to the MRA readership – and quite rightly; they are surely a majority), not a bad article.

    The comments are, as usual, mostly demonstrative of the fact that MRA opinions are about as extreme as Radfem ones. And growing in number.

    Sometimes I wish there was a pit where we could put the misandrists and misogynists together and let them duke it out while the rest of us get on with being people in relationships who don’t feel a need to tread on eggshells all the time – but do make an effort to make the life of the person we love a little better. That’d be nice.


  41. Spaniard June 21, 2013 at 10:20 #

    Lucky hubby.


  42. GrimGhost June 21, 2013 at 12:51 #

    The idea of “Mrs. JB” writing something that she doesn’t believe, in order to curry favor with some group, whether it’s the MRA or anyone else, is totally bizarre. Notice that she calls herself “Judgy Bitch,” not “Ingratiating Panderer.”


  43. feeriker June 21, 2013 at 18:01 #

    …running to protect some woman he didn’t know anything about – bat shit crazy.

    No, no, no – you’re confusing bat-shit crazy with dog-shit DUMB here.


  44. Exfernal June 21, 2013 at 18:40 #

    There are similar initiatives within the E.U. yet without enforced quotas – at least for now. Amusing


  45. Gem (@Gemmarees) June 21, 2013 at 22:14 #

    Oh. No, no. I don’t think she doesn’t believe what she writes – which is precisely why that’s not at all reminiscent of what I said (though I feel it incumbent upon me to let you know that it’s not such a bizarre notion, really – people write things they don’t believe in order to curry favour with certain groups all the time). I DO think it’s tailored to a specific audience though, as is pretty much anything published for public consumption.

    It’s fine for you to not like that being pointed out, but to deny that there is absolutely a very strong “anti woman” sentiment throughout the material here that isn’t quite balanced by the rare occasion when a “thing women might do well if they try very hard at it” is dropped in is to be willfully obtuse. Again – not that it puts me off. I can read extremist crap here and extremist crap on radfem sites and still attribute merit where it’s due. And for now, there is still a lot more good, interesting material here than bad.

    If I minded it, I wouldn’t read here. I’ve stated that I think it’s a somewhat extreme reaction to a pervasive and damaging form of feminism that’s spread through our culture. I’ve also stated that I find an extremist moron to be an extremist moron regardless of what they have between their legs.

    While I’m sure JB is probably appreciative of you white-knighting to her rescue, I’m quite sure, having read the vast majority of her work, that she can handle a solitary less-than-glowing comment from an obscure women on the interwebs.



  46. Exfernal July 12, 2013 at 20:27 #

    More from OZ.


  47. Jack Strawb January 21, 2015 at 01:41 #

    Yup. If she wanted to leave, she’d leave. There isn’t any question.


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