news

Photos appear to show TV chef Nigella Lawson being assaulted by husband.

UPDATE: A Melbourne radio station blog that gave Nigella Lawson a bizarre ultimatum has been labelled as ‘victim blaming’.

Following the release of images that appear to show celebrity chef Nigella Lawson being assaulted by her husband, 3AW presenter Dee Dee Dunleavy wrote on the 3AW website: “Nigella, like it or not, you’re a beacon for women from all walks of life. If you want us to buy your books and watch your shows on how to run our kitchens, then we need you to make a stand on domestic violence.”

But after the post was condemned on social media, Dunleavy was forced to make an apology. On air this morning Dunleavy said:

“First and foremost, my wish for Nigella Lawson is that she is safe and well, and as far away from her beastly husband as possible.

“The fact that I have copped a torrent of abuse today for urging her to take a stand against domestic violence pales into insignificance compared to what she must be going through.”

Dunleavy also said on Twitter:

ADVERTISEMENT

Mamamia previously wrote:

UK tabloid Sunday People have published images that appear to show celebrity chef Nigella Lawson being assaulted by her husband – art collector Charles Saatchi – during a public fight at a restaurant.

Mirror Group Newspapers, who own Sunday People and the Mirror, have photos of the alleged attack, which seem to show 70-year-old Saatchi placing his hands around the 53-year-old TV chef’s neck – and squeezing.

The photos are confronting and horrifying.

He reportedly grasped her neck four times, while Lawson jerked her head backwards. The Mirror reported that nobody at the restaurant – customers or staff – intervened during the incident.

Sunday People cover.

Afterwards, Lawson appeared to be trying to calm Saatchi down, and had tears in her eyes. She leaned across the table and kissed his cheek.

An onlooker spoke to the Mirror, and revealed, “Nigella was very, very upset. She had a real look of fear on her face. No man should do that to a woman. She raised her voice and got angry but at the same time was trying to calm him down, almost like you would try to calm down a child.”

They further said, “The kiss was a strange thing. He was being intimidating, threatening.”

After the row, Saatchi walked out of the restaurant to a waiting car. Lawson followed afterwards, still wiping away tears. According to a source who spoke to the Mirror: “He looked guilty. It was clear he knew he’d done something wrong. He was menacing, there’s no question. She had been abused and humiliated in public.”

Saatchi and Lawson are set to celebrate their 10th ­anniversary in September. Both have children from previous marriages, and live together in London. Lawson’s first husband, journalist John Diamond, died of throat cancer in 2001.

Lawson has previously spoken about her agonising relationship with her mother, who died when the television chef was 25-years-old. Lawson’s mother was reportedly depressed and erratic, and sometimes hit her children.

Spousal violence in Australia is alarmingly widespread. The Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that one in three Australian women report having experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The statistics get even more shocking, and according to the Australian Institute of Criminology one woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or former partner.

Violence against women, or indeed any person, is never excusable – and as an incident like this shows, it can happen to anybody. As a society we need raise awareness as to why domestic violence is not okay – and condemn violence against women when it occurs.

If this post raises any issues for you, please consider calling Lifeline on 131 114. 

00:00 / ???