Charles Saatchi expressed disappointment she didn't publicly defend him after he gripped her throat

By Mike Fleeman
July 06, 2013 09:50 PM
Credit: Aaron Davidson/Getty; Startraks

Nigella Lawson’s husband announced he’s divorcing the celebrity chef, expressing disappointment she failed to publicly defend him during the fallout over their disturbing public fight.

Charles Saatchi, 70, a wealthy art collector and global ad agency co-founder, has been embroiled in a scandal since the publication of pictures showing him clutching her by the throat at a London restaurant on June 9.

“I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced,” he said in a statement to The Mail newspaper in the UK.

“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.”

Saatchi was interviewed by British police for five hours and received a formal police citation, called a caution, which means he admitted his actions. The caution ended the matter with police.

But in his statement, Saatchi downplayed the fight with Lawson, 53, with whom he has been married for 10 years.

“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 statement said. “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.”

A rep for Lawson declined to comment.