This is our truth, tell us yours
We set out our views on believing victims here.
Nigella Lawson and her husband were, according to their account, the victims of a series of thefts. They were believed. The alleged thieves, their employees, were prosecuted, an unpleasant experience for anyone.
At that point, as you now all know, the wheels came off.
The Grillo sisters bit the bullet and went for the riskiest of all defences, impeaching the victim. From the outside, it looks as if they took their time making the decision because they knew that there was no turning back once they went down that road.
As they went down that road, they encountered a prosecution case founded not on a solid and coherent body of evidence, but fatally undermined by the psychodrama of the Saatchi -Lawson divorce. Not only were the Grillos putting the character of Lawson into question, but her former husband joined in. To make things worse for the prosecution, Saatchi’s only way of rebutting that damaging email was to undermine his own trustworthiness. It’s all too easy to picture the prosecution losing faith in their own witnesses.
Imagine how it looks from the jury box. The central fact of the case is that the Saatchi’s gave the Grillos free rein with a company credir card, which was paid unquestioningly. That may be how they’re used to things working in the Saatchi-Lawson household, but to jurors would it look like the normal life style of the rich and famous, or something a bit dodgy and unusual?
Team Nigella have been queuing up to insist that their heroine is pure of thought and deed except for the bits of casual illegal drug use that she admitted, and that the Grillos should have been convicted on her word alone. The jury thought differently.
Can you generalize about the state of the criminal justice system from the Lawson case? Probably not. That won’t stop Team Nigella and her privileged friends. In this rant at the odious people who run Mumsnet Nick Cohen said
British writing is no longer a meritocracy but becoming a vast system of vanity publishing. Editors are not nurturing talent, but looking for passengers who can pay their own way. As Julie Burchill says, ‘once rich daddies bought their daughters ponies now they buy them newspaper columns’. For all the babble about ‘diversity’, an ever-narrower class of people dominates journalism, broadcasting, drama and publishing.
Watching Victoria ‘daughter of Alan’ Coren rush to the defence of Nigella ‘daughter of Nigel’ Lawson one can’t help but feel Cohen was right.
Never mind whether I believed Nigella; the jury didn’t. That’s what the jury is for.