Well, we didn't see this coming.
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson's husband Charles Saatchi is filing for divorce. The art mogul told U.K.'s Daily Mail on Sunday that he's disappointed his wife didn't publicly defend him following their fight at a London restaurant in early June. Photos surfaced of Charles grabbing Nigella's throat during the lunch date where she appeared to be crying and visibly upset. Charles was given a police "caution" after admitting assault.
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. 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 also suggested in the statement that Lawson herself has grasped his neck in the past.
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.
Charles defended his actions after the incident made headlines, describing it as a "playful tiff" during an intense conversation about their children. Nigella has two kids with her late first husband, journalist John Diamond, and Charles has a daughter from a previous marriage. The couple wed in 2003.
TV chef/Taste judge Nigella Lawson made headlines this morning after photos of her husband, Charles Saatchi, putting his hands around her neck surfaced online.
The two were snapped lunching at Scott’s in the Mayfair district, and according to eyewitnesses, the millionaire ad exec/art collector grabbed his wife's throat FOUR times, first using only his left hand, and then both.
“It was utterly shocking to watch,” one onlooker told the Mirror. “I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and was constantly dabbing her eyes. Nigella was very, very upset. She had a real look of fear on her face. No man should do that to a woman. She raised her voice and got angry but at the same time was trying to calm him down, almost like you would try to calm down a child. The kiss was a strange thing. He was being intimidating, threatening. And yet she kissed him. She appeared to be a woman who loves him but was clearly unable to stop him being abusive, frightening and disrespectful to her.”
Saatchi stomped off, and the source on the scene added, “He looked guilty. It was clear he knew he’d done something wrong. He was menacing, there’s no question. She had been abused and humiliated in public.”
Click HERE to see the shocking pictures...
Saatchi released the following statement:
"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. 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. 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 [Sunday] morning, so I told Nigella to take the kids off till the dust settled."
Photo courtesy of Hugo Burnand