Less than a month after several photographs that depict him "choking" Nigella Lawson in public were published in the Sunday People, multi-millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi issued a statement to the Mail on Sunday announcing that he has commenced divorce proceedings because his wife did not publicly defend him after the incident. "This is heartbreaking for both of us as our love was very deep," he wrote in a statement, explaining that the relationship had been strained prior to the incident. "I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way."
The pair were dining at Scott's restaurant in Mayfair at a semi-secluded patio table when Saatchi put his hands around Lawson's neck as they argued. A photographer took several photos of the couple's tense exchange during the next 27 minutes, and at one point Saatchi even pinched the celebrity chef's nose. "Even domestic goddesses sometimes have a bit of snot in their nose. I was trying to fish it out," he later explained to a newspaper.
The advertising tycoon "accepted a caution for assault" by police at a central London station after the incident, and meanwhile, Saatchi has maintained that the photographs didn't in fact depict any kind of violence or abuse. "We are instinctively tactile people," he explains, insisting that if photographers had turned up on another night, Lawson would have been seen choking him. "Yes, my hands were around her neck, and they had been touching her arm. Difficult as it may be to believe, for those who have seen the pictures, there was no pressure applied to her." Oh, that makes perfect sense.
The Daily Mail has all the details of the fight and more on the disintegration of the couple's marriage. Meanwhile, Lawson moved out of their home in Chelsea, reportedly to Los Angeles where taping of season two of The Taste will commence this summer. Her representative told the newspaper that she was unaware of the divorce ultimatum.
I'm divorcing you, Nigella: Saatchi breaks news to wife in exclusive statement to the Mail on Sunday and says he's 'sorry it's over'... but insists she put her hand on his throat too [Daily Mail UK]
Earlier: Charles Saatchi Choked Nigella Lawson at a Restaurant
Earlier: Nigella Lawson’s Husband Met With Police After Public Choking Incident