Calling himself only “Jean Paul,” the photographer who snapped over 1,000 photos over 27 minutes of Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson during their now-infamous lunch in London on June 9 is interviewed in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. “I saw her lurch violently backwards,” the paparazzo told the magazine about the incident. “I thought Charles was demonstrating something. It lasted about 30 seconds. Then he did it a second time, and it was so violent, with such force, that her head snapped backwards … I was taking pictures the whole time.”
Vanity Fair also spoke to a number of other sources about the assault, including someone close to Saatchi, who said that the couple was arguing about the future plans of Lawson’s daughter Mimi. Apparently, Mimi (Lawson’s child with her first husband) had scored an internship at The Economist, which Saatchi thought she should take, while Lawson wanted her to attend university. Lawson excused herself to go to the bathroom and when she came back, according to the source close to Saatchi, she was “unable to focus,” so Saatchi was “holding [her] neck to try to get her attention. He was saying, ‘Listen to me. I feel very passionate about this. I think it’s great they love her at The Economist.’” Because it’s totally reasonable to throttle your wife when you’re feeling “passionate” about a financial magazine.
Lawson told her side of the incident in court, explaining that after she commented on a nearby baby and said she was looking forward to being a grandmother. Saatchi choked her, saying he was the only thing she should be concerned with. You can read the entire feature on the Saatchi/Lawson scandal in the magazine’s February 2014 issue. [Vanity Fair] [Photos: Pacific Coast News/Vanity Fair]