Charles Saatchi accepts caution for assaulting his wife, Nigella Lawson

Organisations helping domestic abuse victims report quadrupling of helpline calls

Migella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, who have been married for 10 years, publicly rowed on the terrace of Scott’s seafood restaurant in Mayfair, London, earlier this month. Photographs of the incident were published in a British newspaper last Sunday. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Migella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, who have been married for 10 years, publicly rowed on the terrace of Scott’s seafood restaurant in Mayfair, London, earlier this month. Photographs of the incident were published in a British newspaper last Sunday. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Tue, Jun 18, 2013, 17:50


Charles Saatchi, wife of TV chef Nigella Lawson, has admitted assault and accepted a police caution, rather than face a prosecution, following the publication of photographs showing him with his hands around her neck in a London restaurant.

Saatchi, best known for his former role in advertising and his large art collection, insisted that his wife had not lodged a formal complaint against him over the incident, which prompted calls for his prosecution for domestic abuse.

“Although Nigella made no complaint, I volunteered to go to Charing Cross station and take a police caution after a discussion with my lawyer because I thought it was better than the alternative of this hanging over all of us for months,” he said.

The couple, who have been married for 10 years, publicly rowed on the terrace of Scott’s seafood restaurant in Mayfair earlier this month. Photographs of the incident were published in a tabloid newspaper last Sunday.

Ms Lawson, who has a series of successful TV cookery programmes, left the family’s home in Chelsea on Monday with one of her children, Bruno, though Saatchi insisted she had left only “until the dust settles”.

Under British law, police can issue cautions – formal warnings given to people who admit an offence – in cases where they decide a prosecution is not required, but they are brought to a judge’s attention if the individual ends up in court later.

Organisations helping domestic abuse victims say the number of telephone calls received by helplines quadrupled after the publicity given to the couple’s difficulties.