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Nigella, we don't like to think of you cowering from a thug

Posted by: Dee Dee Dunleavy | 17 June, 2013 - 6:44 AM
(Photo: Supplied)

UPDATE: Read Dee Dee's clarification of her initial comments here

LISTEN: Anti-domestic violence chief says blog motivations 'understandable' but 'unfortunate'

It’s hard to look a the photos of Nigella Lawson, her eyes wide with panic, her husband Charles Saatchi’s hand wrapped around her throat, without feeling revulsion and disbelief.

The ‘Domestic Goddess’ is not flirty and fun as fans of her cooking shows know her, but fearful, on the front page of the UK’s Sunday People.

How could this happen in such a public place as Scott’s restaurant, a known celebrity hangout in London’s Mayfair?

We don’t trust the tabloid press, so could these photos have been misrepresented and the couple were just play acting some bizarre scene? The shots of a distraught Nigella leaving in tears soon after the incident would appear to discount that theory. What happened clearly left her shaken.

WARNING: The images contained in this link may be distressing to some people

And Saatchi has form. In December last year, the Daily Mail published pictures of the couple involved in an animated discussion, again in a restaurant. At one point he silences her by smothering her mouth with his hand, sickeningly described by the newspaper as ‘playful’.

The most recent incident raises a couple of questions: why did the photographer and fellow diners not intervene or call the police? An ‘onlooker’ is quoted in the article as saying: “It was utterly shocking to watch. I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really.”

And yet they apparently did nothing to stop the attack.

Why, at about the same time the pictures went viral on the internet, did Nigella post a picture of a buttered, toasted bagel on her official Twitter page, as though nothing else was on her mind but food?

That’s not the response we were after, Nigella. We think you are strong, beautiful and successful. We imagine your home is warm and smells of cinnamon, and if we dropped in we’d get a hug and a feed.

We don’t like to think of you cowering from a thug. A man so boldly abusive he had no qualms about attacking you in public.

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.

Dee Dee Dunleavy is a 3AW presenter.

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Blog comments Your Say

  • This situation point directly to one of the biggest problems with our and literally all societies. Women, as well as the rest of the public are not socialised about what to do when some creep commits domestic violence, what to do when you are in that moment of shock and disbelief, potentially frozen with panic. The police do not issue a stance, the health department does not issue an advice, schools do not teach anything about the matter of what to do when you find yourself unwittingly victimised like this. This is one of the biggest parts of the problem. It would also help if more men would shun other men's behaviour when they commit such violence and intimidation on women. That is another big part of the problem.

    Catherine Thursday 20 June, 2013 - 4:14 PM
  • You are a complete disgrace!!!

    kathryn lees Wednesday 19 June, 2013 - 9:41 PM
  • just seen about this on the view - i'm embarrassed to be an aussie woman - really we should be supporting Nigella not bullying her further !- but hey our Misogyny is so internalized in aus - im not surprised !

    susie m Wednesday 19 June, 2013 - 1:11 PM
  • Wow. I'd just like to know who the hell you think you are? Someone on the radio who thinks they are more important and influential than they really are. Maybe you should stop commenting on business that you have no idea about. No one knows what went on except for those involved. Which I am sure is difficult for you to hear as I am sure you think you must be involved in everything. Very sad to see that you believe that she should have to share the intimate details of her life on Twitter just because of who she is. Any moron can see he was talking about food because IT IS NO ONES BUSINESS BUT HERS! Disappointing!

    Aleisha Wednesday 19 June, 2013 - 12:20 PM
  • Women in a position of power have the unique advantage of being able to bring the issue of domestic violence and the fact it is NOT ok into public discussion and debate.
    Having been through my own abusive relationship I'm terribly saddened when people with this ability shy away from it.

    The only criticism I would have here is that Nigella is obviously still very much involved in her abusive relationship and it shouldn't be until a person is strong enough to leave it that they can be expected to speak out against it.

    Kate Wednesday 19 June, 2013 - 11:16 AM
  • Why the fierce resentment that Nigella will not listen to the clamour and step up and be the token frontline female for those speaking out against domestic violence?

    Maybe she doesn't need to push somebody else's barrow.

    Solomons' Sword Wednesday 19 June, 2013 - 10:06 AM

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