A victim of both domestic abuse and vengeful former assistants, the British chef Nigella Lawson found herself on trial today for past use of cocaine and pot. It’s a gruesome story, and the tabloid vultures were circling when I was over in London last week. I can’t help but feel for any woman held hostage by a bullying husband. You can read the full story here. Money quote:
In five hours of testimony, she painted a picture of a 10-year marriage to Saatchi that was “difficult at many stages and also deeply happy at some stages”. She said it included moments of “intimate terrorism” and spoke of Saatchi’s “emotional abuse that was very wounding and difficult”, “bullying” and how she believed he had set his lawyers onto her with a simple instruction: “get her”.
Lawson described how Saatchi held her by the throat in a photographed incident at Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair, not because he believed she had been taking cocaine but because she remarked she was looking forward to being a grandmother. “He grabbed me by the throat and said ‘I am the only person you should be concerned with. I am the only person who should be giving you pleasure’”.
That’s a rather brilliant description of domestic abuse, isn’t it? “Intimate terrorism.”
On a brighter note, here’s some interesting news:
American officials plan to present the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with detailed ideas about security arrangements on the West Bank under a possible peace agreement with the Palestinians, senior State Department officials said on Wednesday.
That suggests a newly confident Obama administration willing to knock a few heads (at last) to get a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine. As with the potential Iran detente, such a detailed proposal would call Israel’s bluff about a two-state solution and unite almost all the great powers in favor of a sane, sensible partition instead of Greater Israel’s demographic and democratic suicide. Again, it’s worth looking at the long game here. Obama will likely get nothing out of the Congress but obstruction and nihilism and maybe impeachment in the rest of his term; but he has the ACA under his belt and the Iranian rapprochement abroad to concentrate on. Both, as I’ve argued before, are historic shifts in US policy, domestic and foreign. And both remain potentially huge legacies for the first black president. Do not be surprised if the last meep is on Netanyahu.
Today, I compared Obama’s pragmatic response to an obvious second term failure with Bush’s rigid intransigence; I wondered again if Buzzfeed really is something we can truly call journalism; and I made the conservative case for the permanence of racism in the human soul. Mike Allen powered along, sucking up to public figures in mutual media back-scratching and still evading any accountability for the conflicts of interest in Politico’s lucrative Playbook. But the money keeps rolling in – and that’s all Politico seems to care about. The good news about healthcare.gov’s surge of enrollment wasn’t quite so good when you looked at the back end; and a reader thread on whether it’s kosher to lie to your kids about Santa really took off.
And yes, it sometimes smells like FAN in my gym bag.
Happy Hannukah. And see you in the morning.
(Photo: Nigella Lawson leaves Isleworth Crown Court after giving evidence on December 4, 2013 in Isleworth, England. Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, who worked as assistants to Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, are accused of defrauding them of over 300,000 GBP. By Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.)