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Nigella Lawson "attacked": Charles Saatchi cautioned after he defends choke photos

Esme Riley
by Esme Riley Published on 18 June 2013
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Nigella Lawson has kept quiet since photos emerged of her husband Charles Saatchi with his hands round her throat. But the Saatchi Gallery owner has decided to speak out about the argument, insisting the photos made it look more horrific than it actually was.

Charles Saatchi has been cautioned for assault after he was photographed with his hands around wife Nigella Lawson's neck.

Scotland Yard said a 70-year-old man "voluntarily attended a central London police station and accepted a caution for assault".

The news of Charles’ caution comes hours after he spoke out to defend his actions.

The UK was shocked at the weekend when the upsetting snaps surfaced, which saw the popular celebrity chef reduced to tears as she and her husband argued.

Charles at first used one hand but then both to take a shocked Nigella by the neck as they ate at London Mayfair's Scotts's seafood restaurant.

Art collector Charles has insisted the pictures made the incident look worse than it was.

He told the Evening Standard yesterday: "There was no grip, it was a playful tiff.

"The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place.

"Nigella's tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt. We had made up by the time we were home."

The couple - who married in 2003 - were sitting at their favourite outside table when the incident occurred.

Nigella Lawson


Chef
born 06/01/1960

One witness told the Sunday People about the feud: "It was utterly shocking to watch.

"I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and was constantly dabbing her eyes.

"Nigella was very, very upset. She had a real look of fear on her face. No man should do that to a woman.

"She raised her voice and got angry but at the same time was trying to calm him down, almost like you would try to calm down a child."

The onlooker went on to claim that Nigella attempted to make peace by kissing Charles on the cheek - but he stormed off and left her crying at the table.

She was then snapped making her way to the taxi in floods of tears.

Nigella, 53, was later seen leaving the £12million Chelsea home she shares with Charles, holding a suitcase and taking her 17-year-old son Bruno with her.

Charles has claimed he told his wife to "take the kids off till the dust settled".

A spokesman for Nigella has confirmed she's left the family home, but would not say if it was a permanent move.

The 70-year-old's actions are having a negative effect on his working life - several artists have decided to remove their work from the Saatchi Online Gallery.

Painter and sculptor David Heulun, 35, said: "I know the camera can lie but until we hear otherwise I'm not comfortable having my work on his website."

Nigella Lawson © Getty
by Esme Riley