UK police looking into Nigella throat-grab pics

 

LONDON (AP) – British police said Monday they are investigating newspaper photos that show Nigella Lawson’s husband Charles Saatchi with his hands around the celebrity chef’s throat.

The pictures drew widespread condemnation after they were published by the Sunday People tabloid. The paper said the images were taken during an argument at a London restaurant on June 9.

Lawson’s spokesman, Mark Hutchinson, declined to comment on the images. But Saatchi, Britain’s best-known art collector, told London’s Evening Standard newspaper that the pictures misrepresented a “playful tiff.”

Saatchi, an Evening Standard columnist, said “the pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place.”

“About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella’s neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasize my point,” he was quoted as saying. “There was no grip, it was a playful tiff.”

The 70-year-old said the couple “had made up by the time we were home.”

Saatchi said after the story broke Sunday, he had advised Lawson to leave the couple’s London home with their children “until the dust settled.”

Saatchi and Lawson married in 2003 and live in London with Lawson’s son and daughter from her marriage to journalist John Diamond, who died of cancer in 2001, and Saatchi’s daughter from a previous marriage.

London police said it had not received a criminal complaint about the incident, and “inquiries are in hand to establish the facts” in order to assess whether a formal investigation was necessary.

In Britain a complaint from the victim is not necessary to lay assault charges if there is enough evidence from witnesses.

Lawson, 53, gained fame with her 1998 best-seller “How To Eat” and is one of Britain’s best-known cookbook writers, as well as the host of foodie TV shows including “Nigella Bites” and ABC’s cooking program “The Taste.”

Saatchi, co-founder of the Saatchi & Saatchi ad agency, owns one of London’s biggest private art galleries. He was the main patron of the Young British Artists movement of the 1990s, which made household names of artists including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • The style scene

    Lauren Conrad does cocktails in Miami

    Lauren Conrad’s new craze is fresh mint.

  • Celebrity roundup

    Amber Valletta comes clean: I’m a raging addict

    Amber Valletta isn’t playing the blame game. The model-actress (Hitch, Revenge, Transporter 2) talked candidly in a video for MindBodyGreen.com and takes full responsibility for her addiction to drugs and alcohol. In the clip, Valletta says she started young, sniffing markers while growing up in Oklahoma, then graduated to the hard stuff when she began posing for magazines. Even though she has been sober for 25 years, the self proclaimed raging addict still has moments when she wants to “distract herself” because she’s “uncomfortable being a human being.” The 40-year-old mother of one, who is married to volleyball player Chip McCaw, credits looking inward constantly to stay healthy.

  • Scene in the Tropics

    Cameron Diaz checks out Porfirio’s, Gisele strikes a pose

    Cameron Diaz was spotted dining with friends Monday night at the new South of Fifth Mexican restaurant, Porfirio’s. The group of five, not including rumored beau Benji Madden, enjoyed spicy Mexican fare and sipped on Mezcal drinks during dinner. Diaz, our spy said, was in good spirits, gushing about her new relationship.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category