7 Jul 2013

Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson to divorce

Millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi says he’s made the “heartbreaking” decision to divorce TV chef Nigella Lawson after pictures showed him holding her by the throat outside a London restaurant.

Nigella and Charles Saatchi in 2012 (pic: Getty)

Saatchi, who accepted a police caution for assault, told the Mail on Sunday he had “clearly been a disappointment” to his wife, adding the couple have “become estranged and drifted apart” over the last year.

“I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced,” he told the newspaper.

“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: “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.”

Photographs of Lawson, 53, and Saatchi, 70, were published last month which showed him holding her by the throat as they had an argument on the terrace of a restaurant.

He dismissed the incident as nothing more than “a playful tiff” but then accepted a police caution for assault. He said he had done so to stop the incident “hanging over” them.

Lawson, who has subsequently been pictured without her wedding ring, has described him as “the exploder” in the past due to his temper.

Lawson’s spokesman said: “There is no comment from Nigella.”