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Charles Saatchi Is Divorcing Nigella Lawson Because She Didn't Defend Him After Photos Of Him Choking Her

Nigella Lawson at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on January 10, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)
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What a gentleman! Multimillionaire art collector Charles Saatchi's response to pictures showing him putting his hands around the neck of his wife chef Nigella Lawson wasn't to apologize or promise never to lay a hand on her again. Instead he gave an interview with The Daily Mail explaining that he is the one divorcing his wife because she had the nerve to not publicly defend him after those disturbing pictures came out.He told The Mail: "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."

Saatchi was caught on camera clutching his wife's throat during an argument at a restaurant on June 9. She later left the restaurant in tears after their argument. A week later when those photos were released, Lawson fled with her 17-year-old son Bruno and the pair haven't spoken since. Lawson's PR firm asked Saatchi to publicly apologize for the "assault" and admit he was "ashamed." Lawson agreed this was a good plan of action, but Saatchi refused. Now he blames Lawson for taking her PR firm's advice for the downfall of their marriage.

Saatchi says did not want to admit to "assaulting" her publicly, because he believed it wasn't true and it would put him in an uncomfortable position with law enforcement. He defended his actions, saying they were "not violent" and there was "no pressure applied to her." He says, "We are instinctively tactile people" and says that her hands could have easily been around his own neck. He claims the version of events she gave to police matches his own.

The Daily Mail reports that when the couple were notified that a story would be running about their tiff at a restaurant, neither of them thought anything of it. The day the photos came out changed everything.

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It seemed to reveal something about their relationship to Lawson that wasn't obvious before. Friends told The Daily Mail that Lawson was afraid of Saatchi's temper and his verbal lashings, but she said that he "never lifted a finger to her." But since the photos came out, Lawson has refused to receive his calls or texts. Friends told the tabloid that she was disturbed that Saatchi played down the whole event by calling it a "playful tiff."

And apparently Lawson didn't know that divorce papers were headed her way, until Saatchi's statement was released in The Mail. The paper reports, "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."

And we thought a text-message divorce was rough.

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