There has been a lot of news coverage of Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi’s break up. But perhaps the aspect of the breakup that gained more interest than it should was the manner in which Charles Saatchi ‘told’ his wife he wanted to divorce. It is reported that Nigella first found out about her husband’s intention to divorce by reading it in a Sunday newspaper – apparently after Charles Saatchi had given a statement to the press. Celebrity or not, Nigella might have expected a little more privacy than that.
But Charles Saatchi is certainly not the first person to avoid having the ‘I want a divorce’ conversation with their partner face to face. There are many cases of people writing letters, emails, social media updates and even text messages as a means of telling their partners they want to divorce. Russell Brand telling his then wife Katy Perry by text that he wanted a divorce being one well publicised example.
Obviously in certain cases, it is unavoidable (or necessary) for a spouse to be notified indirectly rather than being told face to face. Perhaps what this tells us is that if communication has deteriorated so much, that it would be a surprise if the couple stayed together.