Nigella Lawson's husband Charles Saatchi was given a warning by authorities after he was pictured holding his wife by her neck in a heated argument at a London restaurant. He was interviewed by police and came to a police station Monday, June 17 to accept a caution for assault.
The disturbing pictures that showed the couple's intense argument were taken at Scott's in Mayfair a few days ago. They reportedly had been celebrating Saatchi's 70th birthday when the incident happened. Lawson, a 53-year-old celebrity chef, looked visibly upset and was pictured leaving in tears.
"Officers from the Community Safety Unit at Westminster were aware of the Sunday People article which was published on Sunday 16 June and carried out an investigation," a statement from the authorities said. "This afternoon, Monday 17 June, a 70-year-old man voluntarily attended a central London police station and accepted a caution for assault."
According to U.K. government, "Cautions are given to adults aged 18 or over for minor crimes - eg writing graffiti on a bus shelter. You have to admit an offence and agree to be cautioned. If you don't agree, you can be arrested and charged. A caution is not a criminal conviction, but it could be used as evidence of bad character if you go to court for another crime."
Just one day ago, Saatchi issued a statement denying allegations that he choked Lawson. He said they had a debate about their children and he held her neck as "a playful tiff" to "emphasize" his point. Admitting "the pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place," he insisted, "Nigella's tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt." He additionally claimed that they had made up by the time they were home.
Lawson kept silent about the alleged domestic violence. Her spokesperson only said, "Nigella and her children have moved out of the family home." No words if she would ever return to the house. According Saatchi, it was he who told Lawson and the kids to go into hiding to avoid paparazzi only "till the dust settled."
The restaurant where Saatchi and Lawson had a row issued a statement, "The staff and management at Scott's are aware of the reports in the media and would like to make it clear that they did not see the alleged incident nor were they alerted to it at the time."
It's not the first time the couple was captured on camera having argument in public. In December 2012, the advertising mogul and art collector was pictured covering his celebrity chef wife's mouth with his hand when they were allegedly arguing about his unreleased books.