Respected Guardian blogger Roy Greenslade has released an apology following a blog post on the incident between Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson, saying he is "mortified" that his blog could have been considered a defence of domestic violence.
Professor Greenslade published a blog on Monday criticising the tabloid media reaction to the pictures and said there had been a rush to judgement that the incident was related to domestic abuse. He added that the event was deeply embarrassing for Lawson and even more embarrassing for Saatchi, leading many Twitter users to accuse him of minimising the issue of domestic violence.
The blog was released just as Saatchi, 70, broke his silence and spoke to the Evening Standard, claiming he put his hands around his wife's neck to "emphasise my point" and described it as a "playful tiff", while admitting that the couple were having an argument at the time. He later accepted a caution over the incident at Charing Cross police station in London.
Greenslade said in his apology that he and Nigella Lawson had been friends for more than 20 years and he went in the wrong direction.
"Sometimes one is too close to a story, and this is the irony: I was clearly over-compensating for the fact that I have been a friend of Nigella's ever since we were colleagues on the Sunday Times more than 20 years ago," he said.
"In order to be scrupulously fair about the incident, showing no favour to a friend, I went way in the wrong direction. I therefore owe her apologies. And I apologise also to all those, including several Guardian colleagues, who thought I'd taken leave of my senses."
Greenslade added that he had expressed himself very badly and it was never his intention to defend domestic violence.