Nigella Lawson's husband of nine years, Charles Saatchi, is seeking a divorce and has released an astonishing open statement in which he expresses his "disappointment" that his wife did not defend his reputation after he was photographed with his hand around her neck.
"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 an way," said the advertising agency tycoon to The Mail on Sunday.
The statement comes just weeks after shocking photographs were released of the couple having an argument outside Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair. In the photographs, Charles, 70, was seen with his hand on Nigella’s throat and nose. The celebrity chef looked visibly upset in the photographs. A source close to Charles was quoted as saying that the photographs were "not what they seem".
The day after the photographs were released, Charles voluntarily attended Charing Cross police station where he agreed to accept a caution for assault.
"Nigella has given a statement to the police that Charles has never hit her," said a source.
Charles has their split as "heartbreaking" and Nigella has moved out of the family home with her children Cosima, 19, and Bruno, 17, her children from her previous marriage to journalist John Diamond.
Charles and Nigella married in a low-key ceremony at his Eaton Square home in September 2003. They had both been married before. Nigella’s previous husband died from throat cancer in March 2001. Charles was married to American advertising executive Doris Lockhart Dibley, from 1973-1990. He was married America Kay Hartenstein from 1990-2001.