I do not condone domestic violence, I despise anyone who picks on someone unable to defend themselves. I despise the mental abuse that accompanies the physical violence in these situations.
And yet, I have to say that I don't really think ANYONE has enough evidence based on the pictures to form an opinion.
Let me just say this: a Labour-supporting newspaper publishes a set of photos depicting someone who helped the Tories in an unflattering light. We don't know how many photos there are, the person who could have submitted only some of the photos or the paper could have chosen the photos to fit a certain narrative. The article is full of irrelevant bollocks, disparaging innuendo passing as comment and "onlookers said". The assaultee seems to have carried on living with the assaulter and seems perfectly happy. There have never even been rumours of marital
Based on the photos, the body language for an assault is entirely wrong. I've seen similar role-playing behaviour between consenting adults.
I'd have absolutely no trouble believing that Saatchi was a dom and that Nigella was a sub. And if you didn't know what goes on in the world of BDSM, you would quite likely freak out if you saw it being enacted in public. But the key difference between kink and domestic violence is the issue of consent. And if two consenting adults choose to do things that you or I find incomprehensible, does this mean that the police need to be involved?
So I'm not going to say that it's not assault, but I'm not immediately convinced that it is. I'm certainly not going to rush to judgment on the basis of those photos.
If it was a bit of hanky-panky, I'm bloody sure they both regret it; if it was assault, it's surely her decision to make something of it, or not.
I'm unsurprised that feminists have been jumping up and down about this, immediately calling it domestic violence, demanding police action and making snarky remarks about anybody with a contrary opinion.
However, I've been fucking horrified by "anarchists" calling for the police to get involved in the private affairs of a successful, powerful, adult woman. It's almost like they don't think she's capable of cutting his balls off with a deft twitch of a kitchen knife or, you know, going to the police herself.
The whole thing is profoundly depressing to me.
Update: I spoke to a professional domme about this. She says that the body language is not fully the language of someone who's enjoying it. But even she isn't sure that it's not a bit of roleplay. She thinks that Mr Saatchi may be a bit unpleasant. The jury is still out on what happened, but no matter what the truth is, it's none of our fucking business unless they choose to make it public.
Second update: Apparently Mr Saatchi is a cunt who has accepted a police caution for assault. So that's me told.