Billionaire Art Man Divorces Wife for Disappointing Lack of Strangling Defense

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Billionaire art collecter Charles Saatchi has decided to leave his celebrity chef wife Nigella Lawson (above) for a spectacularly tactless reason fitting of someone who would choke his wife in public and pass it off as a playful "tiff": because she didn't publicly defend him after he choked her. 

Just a few weeks after photos surfaced showing Saatchi with his hand around Lawson's neck while the couple was having lunch, Saatchi announced the couple is splitting up because Lawson didn't defend him after the pictures surfaced. "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 exclusively told the Mail on Sunday.

Yes, the jerkstore divorcing his wife after she didn't defend him against domestic abuse caught on camera announced said divorce to a British tabloid before telling his wife. That is an unprecedented amount of douchiness for a Sunday morning. Even the Mail is like, yeesh, this is going to be bad

Ms Lawson is not aware of the divorce ultimatum being issued by her husband today and will be devastated by his claim that she is somehow to blame for failing to speak out in his defence.

What happened that day at Scott's, a trendy London restaurant, is not up for much debate. A heated argument had broken out, that much was clear. But Saatchi claimed he only grabbed Lawson's neck to "emphasize" his point and not, as many eyewitnesses claimed, to hurt or scare her. "The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place. Nigella’s tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt," he wrote in his official response in London Evening Standard. The pictures and witnesses paint a much differnet picture, one of Saatchi grabbing her by the neck multiple times, swearing at her and twisting her nose. Lawson took their kids and left the family home shortly after. Saatchi was given a "caution" by police for assault after an investigation. 

But, according to Saatchi, Lawson has choked him on occasion, too, but the difference is that he got busted with a camera nearby. "The row photographed at Scott's restaurant with could equally have been Nigella grasping my neck to hold my attention -- as indeed she has done in the past, although not in front of Scott's with a photographer snapping away," Saatchi told the Mail. He's the victim here, clearly. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.