The Nigella Lawson divorce from Charles Saatchi is likely to get nasty. That’s the overwhelming response to the 70-year-old art collector’s statement on Sunday to UK tabloid The Daily Mail that he had filed for divorce to end their 10-year marriage.
In the shocking open statement aimed at the celebrity chef, Saatchi said:
“I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced.
“I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way.”
Last month, UK tabloid Mirror’s Sunday People published multiple shocking photos that seem to show Charles Saatchi choking his wife not once but up to four times. As a result, she packed her bags with the help of her son, left their Mayfair home, and was soon photographed without her wedding ring.
However, she hasn’t yet broken her public silence on the matter.
In the very lengthy account by The Daily Mail, it’s alleged that Charles Saatchi is the one who threw Nigella Lawson out of the house in the wake of the photos’ publication. He reportedly said that her PR machine had too much power and wanted him to confess his guilt in the apparent assault.
The report also claimed that he changed his mind and send multiple phone calls and texts to ask her to return — messages that she has ignored.
The new statement may have been planned to prod Lawson into responding. If so, it could very well backfire. Twitter was afire with people who essentially called Saatchi’s statement self-serving and evidence of emotional abuse.
The public and media response wasn’t kind. Some random examples:
Things abusers do: Deny abusing, and blame victims anyway. Charles Saatchi is flaunting both behaviors.
— Erin Matson (@erintothemax) July 8, 2013
Charles Saatchi – the worst kind of human being playing into the hands of the worst kind of 'journalism'. Vitriolic. http://t.co/WzkDvayfPF
— G (@geil_a) July 8, 2013
Maybe Rupert Murdoch could marry Charles Saatchi now & they could cage-fight to death. #dreamsAreFree
— miranda_maybe (@miranda_maybe) July 8, 2013
So just how nasty will the mud-slinging get? There’s reportedly a prenup, but gossip says that it will still get ugly. A Chicago Sun Times report said that an unnamed source believed that the couple could still fight “a big battle over money.”
Charles Saatchi is widely believed to have a net worth of around $100 million.
But a drag-out, knock-down fight over the divorce from Nigella Lawson could put a big hole in that.
[Charles Saatchi “Him” photo by Bixentro via Flickr, Creative Commons]