Nigella Lawson’s husband Charles Saatchi announced he’s divorcing the celebrity chef, explaining in a statement to The U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper that he’s disappointed Lawson failed to publicly defend him following their very public fight on June 9.
During the heated argument at a London Restaurant, Scott’s, Lawson appeared to be crying and distraught as Saatchi, an advertisting and art mogul, grabbed her throat during their tense lunch, with shocking photos of the incident being appearing in various outlets. After the incident, Lawson’s rep told that “she has left the family home with the children.” (She has two kids, Cosima and Bruno, with her late first husband, John Diamond.)
“I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced,” Saatchi, 70, told the paper. “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.”
The statement continued, “This is heartbreaking for both of us as our love was very deep, but in the last year we have become estranged and drifted apart. The row photographed at Scott’s restaurant could equally have been Nigella grasping my neck to hold my attention — as indeed she has done in the past.”
On June 17, Saatchi previously defended himself and dismissed the disturbing photos to the Evening Standard. “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.”
He continued, “The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place … Nigella’s tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt. We had made up by the time we were home. The paparazzi were congregated outside our house after the story broke yesterday morning, so I told Nigella to take the kids off till the dust settled.”
The former Food Network star has been married to Saatchi since 2003. Saatchi accepted a police caution for assault late on Monday, June 17. (A police caution is a formal warning in the U.K. for minor offenses that carries no penalty.)