Art collector Charles Saatchi has announced that he and his wife, Nigella Lawson, are to divorce.
His statement, published by The Mail on Sunday today, described the decision to divorce as “heartbreaking”. According to the newspaper, Nigella Lawson “is not aware of the divorce ultimatum being issued by her husband today”.
Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson were plunged into controversy last month after photographs, printed by The People, showed the former advertising tycoon with his hands around his wife’s throat. Nigella Lawson left the home she shares with Mr Saatchi within hours of the images’ publication, and has not commented publicly on the photographs or the couple’s marriage.
Charles Saatchi told The Mail on Sunday: “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.”
Following the incident, which took place outside Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair, Mr Saatchi accepted a police caution for assault.
In his statement to The Mail on Sunday, Mr Saatchi said: “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… 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.”
Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi have been married since 2003. It is his third marriage and her second, following the death of her first husband, John Diamond, from throat cancer in 2001.