Few people will have missed the reports in the press in the last 24 hours regarding an alleged incident between Nigella Lawson and her husband, Charles Saatchi outside a Mayfair restaurant this weekend, and the debate it has caused regarding their respective behaviour.
Pictures taken by people nearby and widely published in the press appear to show Mr Saatchi with his hand around Ms Lawson’s throat in an aggressive manner. Despite it being reported that Ms Lawson subsequently left the restaurant in tears following the alleged incident, the Metropolitan police have confirmed that as of this morning, no complaint has been made by Ms Lawson, but they have said they are investigating what took place, as domestic violence is a priority for the Force.
Ms Lawson has reportedly previously described her husband as “an exploder” and talked of them having a feisty relationship. Neighbours are reported as describing volatile fights, but also of scenes of the couple looking very much happy and in love, often in short proximity to each other.
Mr Saatchi’s apparent behaviour, and Ms Lawson’s reaction to it, has sparked debate about what is acceptable in relationships, with some people considering the incident to mark nothing more than a demonstration of the passion in their relationship, and others describing it as “horrific” and “abusive.” Some appear critical of Ms Lawson for apparently failing to pursue a complaint against her husband, with others suggesting that the situation has been blown out of proportion and that it is for each individual couple to agree the boundaries in their relationship.
At this stage, it is unclear whether there will be any consequences, either for Mr Saatchi in respect of any criminal investigation, or for the future of the couple’s relationship. What is clear however, is that the debate over Mr Saatchi’s apparent behaviour is likely to rumble on, whether or not the couple themselves become involved in it.
By Family Law Solicitor Cara Nuttall.
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