Monday 18 December 2017

Allison Pearson: Nigella will need a good 'pick-me-up' as she weighs up her options

Seizing your interlocutor by the throat is a brutish way of silencing dissent.

Allison Pearson

A man I loved once grabbed me by the throat. It's an incredibly unpleasant sensation. Because your jaw is forced upwards, you can't make a sound to protest. You just have to wait meekly till your lover/assailant relaxes his grip and your chin falls forward once more. Even after the hold is removed you can still feel a faint, sickening pressure on your windpipe.

As one of the leading ad men of his generation, Charles Saatchi knows that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the paparazzi pictures showing Saatchi's left hand around the neck of his wife, Nigella Lawson, must have generated a thousand times a thousand words last week. Overnight, the millionaire art collector became the unlikely poster boy for domestic violence.

Swinging into PR crisis mode, Saatchi admitted that the pictures, taken on his 70th birthday outside Scott's, the couple's favourite restaurant, "are horrific". But he insisted they "give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place".

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