After initially defending himself, Charles Saatchi is admitting he assaulted wife Nigella Lawson. The art mogul, 70, accepted a police caution for assault late on Monday, June 17, following the shocking photos that were publishing of him grabbing Lawson by the throat during a tense lunch meeting.
According to the Mirror, Saatchi was photographed leaving Charing Cross Police Station in central London on Monday, after being questioned for five hours. “Officers from the Community Safety Unit at Westminster were aware of the Sunday People article which was published on 16 June and carried out an investigation,” a Met spokesman told the Mirror. “This afternoon a 70-year-old man voluntarily attended a Central London police station and accepted a caution for assault.” (A police caution is a formal warning in the U.K. for minor offenses that carries no penalty.)
Over the weekend, disturbing pictures were released of Saatchi grabbing the British celeb chef, 53, by the neck while dining together in London nearly two weeks ago.
The multimillionaire dismissed the photos in an earlier interview with the Evening Standard on Monday. “About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella’s neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasize my point,” Saatchi explained. There was no grip, it was a playful tiff. The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place.”
Lawson’s rep told Us Weekly on Monday that “she has left the family home with the children.” The former Food Network star has kids Cosima and Bruno with her late first husband John Diamond.
“We do not know when she will return,” a source close to Lawson told Us. “They slept at a family friend’s house last night.”