Charles Saatchi whose contemporary art collection was valued it at £200 million in 2003, when he married Nigella Lawson is attempting to negotiate with the celebrity chef’s lawyers to exclude the works of art from the divorce settlement.
The ad-man turned art dealer who is now 70, 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 and are now subject, under English marital law, to be included in the settlement. 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, a successful TV chef, has amassed her own personal fortune thought to be around £20 million, but after ten years of marriage to Mr Saatchi she is still entitled to a large share of his estate . The Telegraph stated today that, Mr Saatchi is negotiating 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.