Last month, photos emerged of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s husband, Charles Saatchi, repeatedly grabbing Nigella’s throat in a one-handed choke hold at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in London.
Saatchi told Scotland Yard the pictures showed a “playful tiff” which gave a “more drastic and violent impression of the incident.”
“It was utterly shocking to watch,” said one onlooker. “I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and was constantly dabbing her eyes.
Now the Huffington Post reports that Saatchi is divorcing his wife because she did not publicly defend his reputation after the images emerged of him grasping her throat in the London restaurant.
He told Britain’s Mail newspaper that he was “sorry” to announce he will be divorcing Lawson, adding that they have become “estranged” and drifted apart over the past year.
The Mail said that Lawson was not made aware of the divorce move prior to publication.
“I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and 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,” he said.
Saatchi, a former British businessman and multi-millionaire art collector, suggested that Lawson had herself grasped his neck in a similar fashion in the past. (Cue laugh track).
The Huffington Post notes Lawson and Saatchi married in 2003 and lived in London with Lawson’s son and daughter from her marriage to journalist John Diamond, who died of cancer in 2001, and Saatchi’s daughter from a previous marriage.
Lawson, who previously confirmed that she and her children left the family home after the photos were published, declined to comment on Saatchi’s statement.
Nigella Lawson is the daughter of Nigel Lawson, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Vanessa Salmon, whose family owned J. Lyons and Co., a British restaurant-chain, food-manufacturing, and hotel conglomerate.
In the past, Lawson, who is neither a trained chef or cook, has criticized French foamy sauces, plate decoration and egotistical chefs.
“I think it was probably an Italian who said, ‘Italian cooking draws attention to the food and French cooking draws attention to the cook’, and there is some truth in that,” said Lawson. “I know I’m sounding anti-French and I’m not.”