London - British art collector Charles Saatchi told a
newspaper on Sunday that he is divorcing his wife, celebrity chef Nigella
Lawson, following an incident in which he grabbed her by the neck outside a
Under the headline "I'm divorcing you Nigella",
70-year-old Saatchi said in a statement to the Mail on Sunday that he had made
a "heartbreaking" decision to separate from his 53-year-old wife
because she had not defended him over the row.
The publicity-shy former advertising executive, who owns
London's Saatchi Gallery for contemporary art, accepted a police caution last
month after pictures of the incident appeared in another tabloid, the Sunday
"I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are
getting divorced," he said in the statement which was splashed over the
front page of the newspaper.
'Heartbreaking for both of us'
"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," he wrote.
"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 insisted that his actions had not been
"violent" and claimed that Lawson, to whom he has been married for 10
years, had grasped his neck in the past because they were both
There was no immediate comment from Lawson.
The daughter of former Conservative finance minister Nigel
Lawson, she is a multi-millionaire cookery writer and TV presenter.
Dubbed 'the domestic goddess', she is famed for her
flirtatious approach to cooking.
She married Saatchi in 2003, and has two children from her
marriage to journalist John Diamond, who died of throat cancer in 2001. Saatchi
has one daughter from his previous marriage.
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