Charles Saatchi challenges Spectator journalist Taki to a cage fight after Nigella column
Could it be fisticuffs at dawn for bombastic advertising mogul Charles Saatchi and Spectator journalist Taki Theodoracopulos, we wonder?
It appears the writer has taken up Saatchi’s ludicrous challenge to a karate cage fight.
The businessman’s call to physical arms follows a column written by the Greek millionaire, in which he declared Saatchi to be one of the art scene's biggest "rogues and pirates" and, even more cuttingly, "among the world’s most disgusting men".
The latter referred to how Taki believes Saatchi has treated Nigella Lawson following the breakdown of their marriage, her public humiliation over drug use allegations during the high-profile fraud court case brought against his former PAs the Grillo sisters (they were later cleared of all charges) and that throttling incident outside Scott’s restaurant over the summer.
As ever, Saatchi, 70, leapt to his own defence, delivering a crushing blow to the 77-year-old critic by penning an acerbic open letter, published by the Specator today.
In it, he tells Taki that Nigella had always found him “ toe-curlingly vile, and would have been aghast at having you as her valiant supporter.”
And then he throws the floor open to his opponent, who is long known for possessing a black belt in karate – an ancient martial art Saatchi dismisses as “soppy geriatrics rolling around the floor in crisp white outfits”.
Saatchi’s own fights, he claims, "take place in cages, 20 feet square, unofficial little events with no gloves, no rules, and the loser being carried out, usually battered to bits. You will understand why I laughed out loud at your schoolyard boast that I should try throttling a real hard case like you."
Astonishingly, Taki appears to have accepted the dual – providing he’s given at least ‘three days’ notice’ to prepare, that is.
"I am willing to face him any time under cage-fighting non-rules, which will be a first for me," he replied.
And so, The Spectator offered to stage the event – a brawl to the bitter end in a specially erected cage in the garden of their Westminster office.
However, it seems Saatchi would need ample time for some pre-fight smack-talk, too.
"I suggest dinner with Taki and Fraser [Nelson, Spectator editor] can be referee," he emailed the London Evening Standard this morning.