UK cops probe Nigella throat-grab pics

2013-06-17 18:17
London - British police are investigating newspaper photos that show art collector Charles Saatchi with his hands around the throat of his wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.

The pictures drew widespread condemnation after they were published by the Sunday People tabloid.

The paper said the images were taken during an argument at a London restaurant on 9 June.

The London police force said Monday it had not received a criminal complaint about the incident, and "inquiries are in hand to establish the facts" in order to assess whether a formal investigation is warranted.

Lawson's spokesperson, Mark Hutchinson, declined to comment on the images. But Saatchi, Britain's best-known art collector, told London's Evening Standard newspaper that the pictures misrepresented a "playful tiff".

Saatchi, an Evening Standard columnist, said "the pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place".

"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," he was quoted as saying. "There was no grip, it was a playful tiff."

The 70-year-old said the couple "had made up by the time we were home."

Saatchi said after the story broke on Sunday, he had advised Lawson to leave the couple's London home with their children "until the dust settled."

Lawson's spokesperson confirmed that she and her children had left the family home.

Saatchi and Lawson married in 2003 and live in London with Lawson's son and daughter from her marriage to journalist John Diamond, who died of cancer in 2001, and Saatchi's daughter from a previous marriage.

In Britain a complaint from the victim is not necessary to lay assault charges if there is enough evidence from witnesses.

Lawson, 53, gained fame with her 1998 best-seller How To Eat and is one of Britain's best-known cookbook writers, as well as the host of foodie TV shows including Nigella Bites and ABC's cooking program The Taste.

Saatchi, co-founder of the Saatchi & Saatchi ad agency, owns one of London's biggest private art galleries.

He was the main patron of the Young British Artists movement of the 1990s, which made household names of artists including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

Comments

  • Lindy Jeffery - 2013-06-17 19:45

    Attention seeking Nigella!?!?!?

      Tammy Petersen - 2013-06-17 20:31

      What a stupid comment,if you see the look on her face while hes grabbing her throat you can see theres nothing playful happening there,just another weak man throwing his power around.

      Robert Coughlan - 2013-06-17 20:48

      @ Lindy Jeffery - care to elaborate on your comment above? Wouldn't want to give the wrong impression would you? Unless the same thing happens to you and you think it's normal? For your sake I hope not.

      Annemarie White - 2013-06-18 04:19

      A typical chauvinistic comment, worthy of NO RESPECT

      Athena - 2013-06-18 09:57

      How could you possibly classify photos of a clearly terrified Nigella being splashed on the front page of EVERY newspaper in the UK and around the world as attention seeking? That is utter humiliation for the poor woman.

      Cindy Naude - 2013-06-18 10:02

      Yes Lindy, having the person you love grab you by the throat is DEFINITELY the way to seek attention... oh my gosh, I can't BELIEVE there are people like you out there!

      Maylani Bezuidenhout - 2013-06-19 15:01

      such an ignorant and insensitive comment from a woman? Did you see the photos? I dislike women who don't support other women almost as much as I hate abusive men.

  • Lindy Jeffery - 2013-06-17 19:47

    News 24....update comments sooner please

      Robert Coughlan - 2013-06-17 20:50

      Perhaps even the Internet couldn't quite believe your first comment, Lindy. Maybe you should clarify what you meant with your first comment.

      Annemarie White - 2013-06-18 04:21

      Oh, my goodness! You are a woman?!?!?

  • Miguel Capelo - 2013-06-18 06:52

    "In Britain a complaint from the victim is not necessary to lay assault charges if there is enough evidence from witnesses." THAT'S A GOOD RULE OF LAW! Often victims are intimidated to not lay charges.

  • Pierre Meyer - 2013-06-18 08:21

    That will teach her not to hide his zimmer frame .

  • Michelle Shizzey - 2013-06-18 10:18

    She's clearly being physically abused. Hope she gets help soon before the worst happens

  • Carol Steenkamp - 2013-06-18 13:42

    My husband has never ever held me around the throat for ANY reason...what a pathetic explanation from the man... "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," he was quoted as saying. "There was no grip, it was a playful tiff." Oh Pleeeeese!

      Maylani Bezuidenhout - 2013-06-19 15:02

      in the one pic it looks like he flicks her on the nose with the other hand. What a creep.

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