Celebrity chef and author Nigella Lawson and her husband, global advertising executive and art collector Charles Saatchi, are officially divorced and have ended their 10-year marriage. They have been granted a preliminary divorce just seven weeks after the multimillionaire art collector was photographed clutching Lawson by the throat.
The photos also showed Lawson in tears after the incident on the terrace of one of London’s most fashionable restaurants. Saatchi dismissed the incident as nothing more than “a playful tiff” but then accepted a police caution for assault. He said he had done so to stop the incident “hanging over” them.
Lawson, who has subsequently been pictured without her wedding ring, has described him as ”the exploder” in the past because of his temper.
According to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, the preliminary decree was granted by District Judge Anne Aitken after a 70-second hearing at the high court in London on Wednesday morning. Neither Saatchi nor Lawson, nor any of their legal representatives, were present.
Saatchi, 70, and Lawson, 53, will now have to wait for a final divorce ruling, which is usually issued six weeks later and ends the marriage.
Court papers show that Lawson petitioned for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behavior, which, according to the documents, was continuing. The paperwork also reveals that an “order for financial relief” between the parties has been approved, suggesting they have come to a private financial agreement without recourse to the courts.
Lawson, nicknamed the “domestic goddess” and “queen of food porn,” has written numerous successful cookbooks and hosted several TV shows in Britain and the United States, including the ABC show “The Taste.” She married Saatchi in 2003 after her first husband, journalist John Diamond, died of throat cancer. She has two teenage children from her first marriage.
Saatchi ran the world’s largest advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi with his brother in the 1980s.
The couple confirmed they would not make any financial claims against each other, ruling out prolonged legal arguments.