The Art Dealer Charles Saatchi was granted a divorce from his TV chef wife Nigella Lawson, in a High Court in London on Wednesday, ending their turbulent 10-year marriage. District Judge Anne Aitken granted the couple a decree nisi in a court hearing that lasted less than a minute.
Saatchi 70, received a police caution after pictures appeared in the Sunday People showing Mr Saatchi choking his wife Nigella, 53, by grabbing her throat. The incident, took place at an expensive Mayfair restaurant. The couple will be issued their decree absolute in six weeks and a day after the decree nisi issued on 31st July. This will officially end the marriage.
The ad-man turned art collector had been in talks with Arts Council England to gift a large portion of his collection to the nation. Talks broke down about a year ago when the various British governmental services that would run the gallery and have responsibility for the collection declared that the legacy would be too costly. The works remain in his ownership. Mr Saatchi has been buying and selling art on a grand scale for many years. He discovered and built the careers of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Marc Quinn.
Ms Lawson is a successful TV chef. She has amassed her own personal fortune thought to be around £20 million, but after ten years of marriage to Mr Saatchi, she accepted the marriage was finished. Mr Saatchi negotiated directly with Nigella’s lawyer Baroness Shackleton, a high profile divorce lawyer hired by his wife. Lady Shackleton, is Miss Lawson’s cousin and has advised both the Prince of Wales in his divorce from Princess Diana and also represented Sir Paul McCartney in his divorce from Heather Mills.