Charles Saatchi Explains Public ‘Choking’ Of Ex Wife Nigella Lawson

Developments in the polarising case of the Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson publicised ‘choking’ controversy and subsequent, high-profile divorce have been revealed today, as art dealing mogul Charles Saatchi has addressed the photos that showed his hands around Nigella Lawson’s neck in a statement to the court. 

“Let me just, while I’ve got the chance – I accepted the caution for assault. I was not gripping, strangling or throttling her [Lawson]. I was holding her head by the neck to make her focus. I wanted her to focus on what we were talking about.” Charles Saatchi said, of the photos. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Saatchi also said on Friday that he still “adored” his now ex-wife Nigella Lawson. 

The high-profile case continued to unravel and reveal its complexities this week, as allegations came forward about Nigella Lawson, alleging that the celebrity cooking goddess was a long-time, daily cocaine and class B drug user (which saw floods of jokes on twitter about Lawson’s affinity for icing sugar ensue), news that implicated two assistants to the couple who allegedly used the pair’s credit cards to fraudulently spend extravagantly, accusations to which the assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, deny.

The statements from Charles Saatchi today cite that Nigella Lawson’s ex-husband has no proof of Lawson’s alleged drug use. According to the ABC, Charles Saatchi could not confirm whether Nigella Lawson used drugs, “If you ask me whether I actually knew whether Nigella ever took drugs, the answer is no,” he said. “I have never, never seen any evidence of Nigella taking any drug whatsoever…Are you asking me whether I think that Nigella truly was off her head? Not for a second. Over this whole period she was writing books very successfully and appearing on television.”

Either way, increasingly complex allegations of drug use and fraud aside, the lesson of this story remains: abusively holding your wife’s neck – whether it’s to help make her “focus”, an astoundingly hollow defence anyway – is never OK. Grow up, Saatchi.

Title image by Tom Canham via Getty.