Photographer says he feared arrest for interfering in Nigella Lawson 'choking'

The paparazzo who took pictures of Nigella Lawson being choked by her husband has defended having done nothing while he filmed "27 minutes of madness."

Photographer Jean-Paul has said he didn't intervene because he feared being arrested himself, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Photographs of Lawson's husband, Charles Saatchi, with his hands around his wife's throat while she appeared terrified and distressed surfaced a week ago and have been widely debated in the media since.

Jean-Paul wrote in the British tabloid Sunday People that the abuse was "most definitely not a fleeting moment," however:

"I'm paparazzi so everyone hates you to begin with. The best thing I could do was carry on taking the pictures because now everyone can see that Charles Saatchi is an abuser."

Meanwhile, a British tabloid has reported that Lawson wants a divorce from Saatchi, 70, an art collector who runs an iconic London gallery in his own name.

The TV chef and author has reportedly left the family home with her children after the incident.


According to Sunday People, which first published the photos, a well placed aide has told how Nigella, 53, feels "broken and ­desolate" since the attack as the two lunched at the ­exclusive restaurant Scott's.

Saatchi has since called the incident a "playful tiff," although he received a police caution.

UK government minister Alistair Burt reportedly said on Saturday said he would have intervened had he witnessed the assault, and that there should be "no toleration" of violence against women.

However, Jean-Paul said said knowing his pictures had been seen all over the world was "so special".

"I am proud because as a photographer you want to be in the paper but you also want to take pictures that mean something. This will be talked about for years."