Nigella Lawson and her Recent Troubles
Nigella Lawson’s admission she used cocaine in a fraud trial of two sisters who were her personal assistants has caused a sensation in the British press. The intimate details about her relationship with her husband, multi-millionaire Charles Saachi, was further fuel for scandalous gossip.
The story reminded me to look back on an article I wrote about celebrity chefs and their Character Types. (The full article is here http://www.etbscreenwriting.com/celebrity-chefs-character-types/)
Below is my analysis of Nigella at the time:
POWER OF LOVE
Nigella Lawson is a Power of Love character. She is a food seducer. Cooking is a sensual pleasure and the opportunity to nurture. She is often described as being “sexy and flirty” while working with or presenting food. She celebrates her own voluptuous curves and says she takes her greatest joy in “feeding others”. Here is how she describes her philosophy in one of her books:
The trouble with much modern cooking is not that the food it produces is not good, but that the mood it induces in the cook is one of skin-of-the-teeth efficiency, all briskness and little pleasure. Sometimes that’s the best we can manage, but to others we want to feel not like a postmodern, post feminist, overstretched modern woman but, rather, a domestic goddess, trailing nutmeggy fumes of baking pie in our languorous wake. So what I’m talking about is not being a domestic goddess, exactly, but feeling like one. – Domestic Goddess
Lawson’s culinary efforts have been described as decadent, succulent, passionate, luscious, and lavish.
Lawson’s sexy roundness mixed with her speed-demon technique makes cooking dinner with Nigella look like a prelude to an orgy. - The New York TImes
Her appeal is further described here:
Women like her, she says, “because I’m not thin”, while men who lack the domestic skills to unwrap a chip supper can watch her licking a fingerful of her signature Slut Red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly and wonder what they have been missing. - The Telegraph
Power of Love characters, regardless of what they look like are innately sensual and sexy. They are Earth Mothers or Nurturers regardless of their gender. In her many television shows like Nigella Bites and Forever Summer with Nigella, Lawson presents food as a comfort, a pleasure and the abiding warmth of true sustenance. Cooking is her way of giving pleasure to others. When she is criticized it is for creating a kind of “Food Porn” that is a too voluptuous or too much the over-stuffed sensory feast.
POWER OF LOVE AND POWER OF WILL
Earlier in the year, her husband, Charles Saachi, famously grabbed Nigella by the throat in the outdoor patio of a London restaurant. She testified she saw a young woman with a “sweet looking” baby and said she “was so looking forward to having grandchildren”.
She says her husband then grabbed her by the throat and told her he was the only person she should be concerned with and that he should be the only person giving her pleasure. Saachi contended in the press that he grabbed his wife by the throat with one and then two hands in order to make her focus on the conversation they were having (and presumably on him).
After photos of the incident were published Saachi was cautioned by the police for assault. A police caution is a serious formal warning but stops short of actual prosecution. Very soon after publication of the photos Nigella filed for divorce.
She says her husband has been continually emotionally abusive. Why didn’t she leave him before then? Power of Love characters tend to be very forgiving in their relationship with Power of Will men. It’s typical of a Power of Love character to believe if she just loves her man enough, or in exactly the right way, he will have to love her back.
Power of Will men are controlling, often have anger and temper issues, are extremely jealous, and are very physical. They see their partner as belonging to them and them alone. In a strange way, this possessiveness and aggressive behavior can “feel” a bit like love to Power of Love characters. He may not be treating her kindly but he has a powerful connection to her and she had a big emotional impact on him.
Saachi insists he still deeply loves Nigella and is “devastated” by the divorce. He said in court, “I adore Nigella, and I’m absolutely brokenhearted to have lost her”.
As this sordid saga plays out in court and in the press, I’m sure we’ll see other testimony that supports and further defines this battling couples’ Character Types.