Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi are headed for divorce. According to reports, Charles Saatchi announced he is divorcing Nigella Lawson, his wife since 2003.
His announcement comes on the heels of a June incident at a London restaurant in which photographers captured him with his hands around Nigella’s throat. The pictures were published a week later in Sunday People, a London newspaper.
Saatchi said he made this “heartbreaking” divorce decision after Lawson refused to defend him.
“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 added, “I am sorry that we had a row. I am sorry she was upset. I am even more sorry that this is the end of our marriage.”
Pictures of the incident published showed 70-year-old Saatchi clutching his wife Lawson’s neck at a restaurant in Central London where the couple had gone to dine. The images provoked a public outcry and debate about domestic violence. Saatchi was vilified as a wife-beater.
Initially, art collector Sattchi described the incident as “a playful tiff.” Later, he accepted a police caution for assault, explaining his action was based on his decision to put the incident behind them. He told reporters that he went to the police station voluntarily.
“Although Nigella made no complaint, I volunteered to go to Charing Cross station and take a police caution after a discussion with my lawyer because I thought it was better than the alternative of this hanging over all of us for months.”
He also insisted in a statement that although his hands were around Nigella neck, he had not applied any pressure. It was a movement to hold her attention. He said the still photograph gave a “wholly different and incorrect implication.”
Reports say that Lawson left the couple’s home in Chelsea soon after. Reports say she has refused to answer texts and voice mails from her husband. She has also been pictured without her wedding ring.
Saatchi wed Lawson, his third wife 10 years ago. She was widowed at the time. She had been married to journalist John Diamond, who succumbed to throat cancer at age 47. She has two children, Cosima, 19, and Bruno, 17, from her marriage Diamond.
Saatchi said although he and Nigella are headed for divorce, he wished her the best for future and “her continuing global success.”
Reports say Nigella, an internationally famous chef, will soon begin filming her second series of the show The Taste. She had invited Saatchi’s daughter, Phoebe, 19, to join her and her own children at her Los Angeles home.
But Saatchi has been told to stay away. An insider familiar with the story said, “Nigella does not want to see Charles while she is in America.
He was not a part of her life there last year and, following the events and the attention his recent actions have caused, she does not want him around this year. She has always been close to Phoebe and has made it clear to her show’s crew that her family, including Phoebe, will be with her.”
By Perviz Walji