Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson and her husband Charles Saatchi are getting a divorce just weeks after he was photographed putting his hands around her throat. Because the 53-year-old British cook didn’t defend her 70-year-old husband, he said he has made the “heartbreaking” decision to end their 10-year marriage.
The advertising executive told the Mail on Sunday, “I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced.” Saatchi was photographed with his hands around her neck and tweaking her nose for nearly 30 minutes while the couple was having an argument at a London restaurant on June 9. (Click here to see pictures of their fight posted by E Online.)
“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 told the Mail on Sunday.
A week or so after the incident, Saatchi told the Evening Standard the altercation wasn’t as bad as the shocking photos made it look. He said the couple was having a “playful tiff” and that they made up by the time they got home.
“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,” Saatchi told the Mail on Sunday. According to the U.K. newspaper, the couple has not spoken since the pictures were published. Lawson moved out of their home and took her 17-year-old son Bruno with her. After weeks of having her reportedly ignore his phone calls and text messages, Saatchi went to the media with a public statement to announce his decision about divorcing his celebrity wife.
In the statement, he referred to the chef as “the most wonderful woman in the world,” adding, “I feel very fortunate to have had such a lovely wife for many years.”
The New York Daily News reported Lawson has been photographed without her wedding ring since the incident. She has yet to make a public statement regarding the divorce.