Charles Saatchi is divorcing cookbook author and TV chef Nigella Lawson after a year in which he’s been a “disappointment” to his wife and weeks after photos of him grabbing her neck in a restaurant sent her into seclusion, according to the Mail on Sunday.
The famed art collector and former advertising executive said he came to the “heartbreaking” decision after Lawson's refusal to defend his image in the unsettling photos that were published June 18, a week after the couple had dined together at a central London seafood restaurant.
In the Mail story, Saatchi, 70, says Lawson, 53, who moved out of their home after the photos appeared in public, has not returned his calls or text messages.
"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," he wrote in the Mail.
For its part, the London press has been hammering away at the couple almost daily while women’s groups have called her a victim of domestic violence. Photos have shown her without a wedding band. Saatchi, who is credited with bringing artist Damien Hirst among others to the forefront of culture, has seen his temper become the topic of many stories.
Lawson is a judge on the ABC competitive cooking show “The Taste.” She’s also known for her cookbooks, including “How to Be a Domestic Goddess” and, more recently, “Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes.”
Lawson’s first marriage was to journalist John Diamond, who died of throat cancer. The couple had two children together, Cosima and Bruno.
Saatchi says he and Lawson were arguing about Cosima’s future when things appeared to get heated at the restaurant. Lawson wants her daughter to attend Oxford. Saatchi wants her to continue her work with the Economist, according to his statements in the Mail.
"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," he said in the Mail.
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