In just under 60 seconds, Domestic goddess and television chef Nigella Lawson ended her marriage to her multi-millionaire art collector husband of ten years, Charles Saatchi, at London’s High Court.
Following the disturbing pictures of a 70 year old Saatchi choking his wife outside their favourite restaurant just weeks ago, estranged wife Nigella, 53, became the respondent of Saatchi’s application for a ‘quickie divorce’ at London’s High Court, after citing her husband’s continuous unreasonable behaviour. Following the Decree Nisi, granting their divorce, the pair will now have to wait until September for the final Decree Absolute.
The former couple, reported to be worth an estimated £150 million, once shared a £12 million home in London’s exclusive Chelsea and are reported to have agreed not to publicly disclose terms of their divorce settlement. It is believed that Saatchi dealt directly with Nigella’s lawyer and first cousin, Baroness Fiona Shackleton, to try to maintain his multi-million-dollar art collection and to divide assets, without dispute, in line with their pre-nuptial agreement of 2003. Following the pictures, the highly published food writer, journalist and celebrity television chef moved out of their marital home and is now renting an apartment with her son Bruno, 17 and daughter Cosima, 19. Bruno and Cosima, who are the children from Nigella’s marriage to journalist John Diamond, who passed away from throat cancer in 2001, were said to be the subject of Ms Lawson and Mr Saatchi’s public argument a month ago.
Friends of Nigella have said that she had been willing to try to save their marriage, but was left ‘floored’ and ‘blindsided’ by his decision to announce his divorce proceedings against her so quickly and publicly. Mr Saatchi had been seen at the restaurant with his hand around Ms Lawson’s throat, in a chokehold. He was also reported to have tweaked and twisted her nose, even poking his finger up her nostril at one stage. The police were called and Saatchi was cautioned for assault, but tried to brush it off as a ‘playful tiff’.
In a surprise twist, and to add to the public humiliation for Lawson, Saatchi, who accrued millions through various business deals, not to mention his advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, which he set up with is brother Maurice (now Lord Saatchi), seemed to have blamed Nigella for the termination of their marriage, making claims that he himself had made the decision to divorce her after she had refused to defend him in public. He went on in a statement that he had ‘clearly become a disappointment’ to his wife over the past year, resulting in their drifting apart.
Saatchi, owner of the Saatchi Gallery, is said to have profited handsomely from his collection of art works by Damien Hurst, also collecting pieces from other unusual British artists, including Tracy Emin’s controversial ‘My Bed’ exhibition. His collections are thought to be worth around £200 million.
Nigella is currently planning to fly out to Los Angeles, where she will be filming a new season of her television show The Taste, on the ABC Network. Her children, who have been comforting their mother at her rented home, will also be spending their summer with her in LA.
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