Photo Credit: John Parra, Getty Images Entertainment
TV star and chef Nigella Lawson was apparently choked by her husband, multimillionaire Charles Saatchi, during a fight at a London restaurant.
So reports the UK’s Mirror, which seems from its lengthy photo slideshow rather pleased with the horrific images it scored when Saatchi grabbed his tearful wife around the neck, and also pushed her face.
The images are shocking and worrisome. We know celebrity fights sell papers, and splashy splitsville-style headlines can be some of the most compelling for some readers. But from where we sit, it looks like a woman was hurt by her husband in a public place and no one stepped in to help. (Aren’t paparazzi also human beings after all?)
And then there’s this: The Mirror ran with the clueless and deplorable headline “Arti-Choked.” And we saw several outlets including the Guardian that couldn’t resist appearing to make a play on words with headlines involving a “restaurant row.”
Pardon us if we feel compelled to point out that domestic violence is not punny, and it's not cute or funny either. Not even the tiniest little bit. Not even to sell papers.
By way of explanation, Saatchi released a statement exclusively to the London Evening Standard that included such dubious explanations as, “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.”
We’re not buying it, and -- thank heavens -- it appears neither is Lawson, who has left home with her children, People confirms. The 10-year marriage for Lawson and Saatchi is the third for him and second for her.
After this shocking public incident, we want to hear from you: Would you step in and intervene if you witnessed a similar situation?
Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter.