Ouch! It’s got to suck learning about your divorce via an exclusive news story, and that’s exactly what happened to celebrity chef Nigella Lawson this morning.
Nigella’s husband, 70-year-old advertising tycoon Charles Saatchi, announced that he made the “heartbreaking” decision to split from his wife because she refused to defend him when pictures of him with his hands around her neck surfaced last month.
He told The Mail
“I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced. 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 and 53-year-old Lawson have been married for 10 years. After the photos of Saatchi with his hands around her neck were published, she moved out of their home with her 17-year-old son and refused to answer Saatchi’s phone calls and texts. He says her PR team contacted him and demanded that he publicly apologize for abusing her, something he vehemently denies.
Here’s the full statement, where is implicates Nigella for not publicly saying that he was not violent toward her, and letting the world know that he abhors violence. He also claims that Nigella has also put her hands around his neck to get his attention, and that they treated each other this way because they are tactile people. He maintains that no pressure was applied to Nigella’s neck, and that the photographs make it look worse than it was.
I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced. 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. 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, although not in front of Scott’s with a photographer snapping away.
I must stress again my actions were not violent. We are instinctively tactile people. Yes, my hands were around her neck, and they had been touching her arm. Difficult as it may be to believe, for those who have seen the pictures, there was no pressure applied to her. In fact it was merely a gesture – one to which a still photograph gives a wholly different and incorrect implication.
Nigella has given a statement to the police to support this view.
I am sorry that we had a row. I am sorry she was upset. I am even more sorry that this is the end of our marriage.
I wish Nigella only the best for her future, and for her continuing global success.
She remains the most wonderful woman in the world. I feel very fortunate to have had such a lovely wife for many years.
- Charles Saatchi