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Chef Nigella Lawson's husband files for divorce over photo row: Paper

July 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM ET

Charles Saatchi and wife Nigella Lawson are to divorce after ten years of marriage.
Dave M. Benett / Getty Images file
Charles Saatchi and wife Nigella Lawson are to divorce after ten years of marriage.

Multi-millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi said on Sunday he would divorce celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, citing his "disappointment" that she had not defended him after photographs of him grabbing her neck during a row caused a public outcry.

Lawson, 53, is hugely popular in Britain for her television cooking shows, which she presents in her trademark flirtatious manner, and line of cookbooks. She is also widely known in the United States, Australia and other English-speaking countries.

Story: Police probe restaurant photos of Nigella Lawson, husband

"I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so," the 70-year-old former advertising tycoon told The Mail on Sunday newspaper.


"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."

Video: Just weeks after photos were published showing advertising mogul Charles Saatchi with his hands around wife Nigella Lawson’s neck, Saatchi has announced he is divorcing the chef, maintaining his actions “were not violent” and saying he is “disappointed” in her. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

In June, a tabloid newspaper published photographs of Saatchi with his hand around his wife's neck, with her in tears, while they were having dinner on the terrace of a seafood restaurant in London's upmarket Mayfair.

Saatchi attempted to downplay the photos, saying they depicted a "playful tiff" with his wife of 10 years, but Lawson, the daughter of former British finance minister Nigel Lawson, moved out of the family home soon afterwards and has not made a public comment on the incident.

Story: Nigella Lawson's husband accepts police 'caution' for assault

Saatchi accepted a police caution for assault after the row but groups campaigning against domestic abuse and violence against women have complained over the lack of action taken against him.

Lawson married Saatchi in 2003 after her first husband, journalist John Diamond, died of throat cancer. She has two teenage children, Cosima and Bruno, from her first marriage.

Saatchi ran the world's largest advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi with his brother in the 1980s.

Copyright 2014 Thomson Reuters.

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