Saatchi to divorce Nigella after statement

NIGELLA LAWSON: A TV cooking institution.
NIGELLA LAWSON: A TV cooking institution.

Charles Saatchi has told TV chef Nigella Lawson he is divorcing her - in a statement to a British tabloid.

The art collector told the Mail on Sunday he made the "heartbreaking" decision to formally separate from Lawson because she refused to defend him after he was snapped abusing her at a London restaurant.

"I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced," he said.

"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."

Lawson moved out of their house a week after the Mirror newspaper printed the images of the pair at lunch.

Fellow diners reported a heated argument, during which Saatchi repeatedly grasped Lawson's neck, pushed his hands into her face, and pinched her nose.

Lawson appeared upset and left the restaurant in tears, passers-by said. But while witnesses photographed the incident, no one reported the crime to the police.

Saatchi initially dismissed his actions as a "playful tiff" but later accepted a caution for assault.

He told the Mail that on the day the pictures were published, he was ordered by Lawson's PR advisor to apologise and admit he was "ashamed". 

He refused and the couple fought, before he reportedly told her to 'pack her bags and go'.

The couple have been married for 10 years. 

Fairfax Media