Police have launched an inquiry after celebrity chef Nigella
Lawson was photographed apparently being grabbed around the throat
by her husband Charles Saatchi.
Photographs of the episode show the art collector with his hand seemingly around her neck as the pair sit at a restaurant.
The couple left their Pounds 12m marital home in Chelsea in separate taxis yesterday. Both remained stony-faced and said nothing about the photographs, published on a tabloid''s front page and generated substantial comment. Reports suggested Ms Lawson's son was carrying a suitcase.
In the pictures taken outside Scott''s in Mayfair, London, the chef appears to be grimacing.
Mr Saatchi, who was celebrating his 70th birthday, appeared to lean over and grasp her neck before pinching her nose.
Ms Lawson (53), the daughter of former chancellor Nigel Lawson, was reportedly seen dabbing her eyes with a napkin and weeping following the episode.
As multimillionaire Mr Saatchi tapped his cigarettes on the table, Ms Lawson is believed to have downed her glass of wine.
She then spoke to her husband, placing a hand on his wrist and even kissing his cheek, in an apparent attempt to pacify him. But Mr Saatchi is understood to have got up and left to get into a car, leaving Ms Lawson alone in tears.
She then joined him, and the couple were driven off.
The pair are regular visitors to the Mount Street restaurant.
They always choose the same outside area screened by olive trees so Mr Saatchi, dressed in his habitual dark suit and white shirt, can smoke.
The incident was witnessed by passers-by and Scott''s customers.
One told the Sunday People: "It was utterly shocking to watch. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and was constantly dabbing her eyes. Nigella was very, very upset."
Scotland Yard said it was aware of the pictures which published in the Sunday People, but there have not been any arrests.
A spokesman said: "Inquiries are in hand to establish the facts in order to assess whether an investigation is necessary." He added Lawson has not made any complaint to the police, but did not confirm whether any member of the public had.
Lawson and Saatchi''s representatives did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.
In an interview in 2007 Lawson spoke of the couple''s contrasting temperaments. She said: "I'"I'll go quiet when he explodes, and then I am a nest of horrible festeringness.
profile Nigella Lawson wed Charles Saatchi in 2003. He is 17 years her senior. The chef has spoken of a tempestuous side to the relationship. She has two children from her marriage to journalist John Diamond, who died of cancer in 2001.
Originally published by BY KATIE HODGE AND JENNIFER COCKERELL.
(c) 2013 Belfast Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.
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