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Wednesday 19 June 2013

Saatchi Keeps On Digging

[Update at end of post]

Some folks have a strange way of demonstrating their reclusiveness. The obscenely rich – and newly single – Charles Saatchi’s way is to eat out at another of those snapper- infested Mayfair eateries (Restaurant 34) where a burger will set you back £16.50, and a glass of Rioja just over £20. Then he gets himself on camera, along with all the other alleged slebs. But he’s a recluse, remember.
Steady on Nigella, I haven't finished the last lot yet

But one thing that supports the “recluse” tag is Saatchi’s habit of opening his mouth and depositing foot in it. Anyone who thought that he had scraped the barrel when he told the Standard that holding wife Nigella Lawson by the throat was a sign of a “playful tiff” was disabused of this notion yesterday when he went back to the London Daily Bozza and dropped yet another clanger.

Yes, Saatchi did effectively own up to assaulting his wife in that first Standard interview, and yes, he did of his own volition go to Charing Cross Police station, where, after four hours’ questioning, and on the advice of his lawyers, accepted a caution for assault, which meant he admitted it, and that he will get himself a criminal record for his trouble.

So what is the most blatant and crass move he could make when venturing into the Standard one more time? “Although Nigella made no complaint I volunteered to go to Charing Cross station and take a police caution after a discussion with my lawyer because I thought it was better than the alternative of this hanging over all of us for months”. Yes, he didn’t really do it, but took a hit for the team.

At this point, the thought occurs that the adage attributed to Denis Thatcher – “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” – might have been a better course of action, especially as Saatchi was not even remotely in control of the news cycle, with the Mail having obtained more photos from that outside table at Scott’s.

There, some days after the assault, he is once again smoking away, and perhaps talking, but Nigella is not listening, instead looking away and alone. Picture desks must be working overtime right now, seeking out any snapper who may have more photos of them. And in the wake of the pics and quickly assembled copy will come yet more pundits dispensing yet more stories of domestic abuse.

Typical of these is Melissa Kite in the Mail, who has called Saatchi’s explanation “chilling”, that universal term that covers everything from the hated BBC to the even more hated Leveson Inquiry. Ms Kite, looking smart and reassuringly authoritative, has advice for Nigella born out of bitter experience. There will be others. They, like the photos, will keep on coming whatever Saatchi’s explanations.

Charlie boy, you’re in one heck of a hole. It’s time to stop digging.

[UPDATE 1825 hours: the Standard has once again come to Saatchi's rescue, as befits a paper that fawns over London's occasional Mayor, someone who knows all about mistreating women.

The article is headlined "Charles Saatchi had his faults but he wasn't violent with me, says ex-wife". But Kay Saatchi then sells the pass by telling that she "got sick of his bad moods", before the Standard puts the lid on it by reminding readers that she cited his "unreasonable behaviour" in the divorce battle.

Then the piece is padded out by letting readers know that Nigella must be OK because she posted a recipe for a coffee liqueur pudding on her Facebook page earlier. And some folks wonder how they manage to give the Standard away for free]

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