Women are indeed strange creatures, sometimes too strange for their own good. Four years ago Chris Brown laid into his celebrity girlfriend in a highly publicised assault. One would have thought she would have had enough of the self-styled changed man
after that, but can she move on? Heck no
More recently, last month in fact, Charles Saatchi was photographed physically abusing his wife at a restaurant dining table. This was reported at the time, but has attracted surprisingly little comment. Saatchi is the co-founder of Saatchi & Saatchi
, but is perhaps better known as a patron of the arts, although not everyone sees it that way. In 2004, a warehouse full of his trophies went up in smoke, and the reaction even from the attending fire brigade was laughter.
Having said that, Saatchi's taste in women is in stark contrast to his dubious art collection, and in 2003 he bagged himself a trophy wife, Nigella Lawson
, the daughter of former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson. Saatchi is some 17 years older than his (one suspects) soon to be ex-wife, but she is no spring chicken either, although she looks much younger than her 53 years. She is the widow of John Diamond, with whom she had a son and daughter; Saatchi has been married twice before. After he was seen grabbing Nigella's throat while dining outside a West End restaurant, he claimed the camera didn't tell the whole story. Shortly, he attended a police station, apparently unprompted and of his own volition, where he was cautioned for assault
, probably because his obvious lapse of memory was only temporary.
Although she has made no meaningful comment on the incident, Nigella Lawson has since left the family home. While Saatchi's attack was nowhere near as serious as the injuries inflicted on Rihanna by Chris Brown, few of the great and the good appear to have given it a second thought. The one notable exception is Lord Avebury
. It may be this is a one-off, and a 70 year old, somewhat boring businessman is a different kettle of fish from a hothead of Chris Brown's age (and temperament), but the reaction or lack thereof is somewhat surprising.
The case is making good copy for women's magazines though; last week OK!
featured her on the front cover along with Natalie Cassidy and Roxanne Pallette.
Both these women have appeared in soap operas: EastEnders
which has seen more than its fair share of violence - including rape and murder, both on and off screen;
, which has more murders per acre
than any village outside the continually warring Middle East. Five years ago, Miss Pallette claimed
to have been physically abused by a former lover. Although she gave no details and named no names, the same cannot be said of Natalie Cassidy. There is no impeaching her story because of the resulting court case. After assaulting her, Adam Cottrell smashed up the family home
. She obtained a restraining order against him, but guess what, they are now together again. It remains to be seen if they will tie the knot, but it seems likely as they already have a daughter, and she says they are planning baby number two.
Clearly every case is different, and in spite of what the loony feminists
would have us believe, not every relationship should be broken up because of one slap, abuse can work both ways, and it is not always a good idea to involve the police. Roxanne Palette did well to bow out early on a relationship that clearly have nothing to offer her - nothing good. Nigella Lawson's marriage has lasted ten years; it remains to be seen if it should be ended on account of that one recent incident, clearly that is up to her, but we don't know what went on behind closed doors.
The most instructive thing about this case is that she is a rich woman in her own right, while he is wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice. Anyone can snap in the proverbial moment of madness, but he has no excuse - pressures of work, etc - and unlike some working class victims of domestic violence, she doesn't have to put up with it. Now if only someone will tell Rihanna.