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Ministry of Gossip

Nigella Lawson's husband accepts a police caution for assault

Celebrity foodie Nigella Lawson's husband has reportedly accepted responsibility for assault in the wake of photos published Sunday showing him with his hands on his tearful wife's neck while the couple argued in a London restaurant.

Charles Saatchi, 70, on Monday accepted a police caution -- a formal notice from police given when a person has copped to a low-level offense in Britain. A caution isn't the same as a conviction, according to the Daily Telegraph, but stays on a person's record for future reference.

"Although Nigella made no complaint, I volunteered to go to Charing Cross station and take a police caution after a discussion with my lawyer because I thought it was better than the alternative of this hanging over all of us for months," Saatchi told the Evening Standard on Tuesday. (He's a columnist for that paper.)

The art collector had previously called the June 9 incident a "playful tiff" in which "there was no grip." He said he had one or both hands on Lawson's neck in an effort to "emphasize" the point he was making in an argument they were having about their children.

The Food Network star — she hosts "Nigella Feasts" in the U.S. market — has reportedly left the home she shares with Saatchi.

"We had made up by the time we were home," he told the Standard. "The paparazzi were congregated outside our house after the story broke yesterday morning, so I told Nigella to take the kids off till the dust settled."

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