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Nigella Lawson learns about her divorce in the Press

TV chef Nigella Lawson only found out Charles Saatchi was divorcing her after her husband announced it in the Sunday press.

Four weeks after pictures emerged of Mr Saatchi with his hand on a visibly distressed Ms Lawson's throat during lunch at Scott's restaurant in London, the millionaire advertising man and art collector released an extraordinary statement in which he lamented the breakdown of their marriage, questioned why his wife had not defended him publicly and claimed that she had "grasped" his neck in the same way in the past.

Describing the decision as "heartbreaking for both of us", Mr Saatchi claimed in the Mail on Sunday that the couple, who married in 2003, had "become estranged and drifted apart" over the past year.

Mr Saatchi accepted a police caution for assault following the release of the images, but seemed to take aim at his wife's advisers when he claimed to be "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".

Despite the breakdown of her marriage becoming front-page news, Ms Lawson – the food writer and television cook who has built the image of a "domestic goddess" and married Mr Saatchi after the death of her first husband, John Diamond – has so far made no comment. As a result, it has been Mr Saatchi's comments which have driven the resulting narrative.

Mr Saatchi insisted that his actions "were not violent" and that he could have just as easily been the victim in the incident at what has become one of the most famous tables in London.

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