Charles Saatchi admits assault on wife

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After justifying the shocking photographs emerged in the last few days by saying that the images gave a "more drastic and violent impression" of what instead was just a "playful tiff" where he had grabbed Nigella Lawson's neck to "emphasise his point", Charles Saatchi has admitted assaulting his wife of 10 years. The 70 year old art collector accepted a caution for assault after voluntarily attending a central London police station, despite insisting that "there was no grip" and "Nigella’s tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt."

In the meanwhile, the 53 years old glamorous cook was seen leaving their multimillion-pound 7 bedroom villa in Chelsea with her teenage son from her first marriage to journalist John Diamond, Bruno, fueling breakup speculations. Nevertheless, Charles Saatchi has declared that rather than being the result of the bust-up, the move was caused by the pressing media attention of the last few days: "We had made up by the time we were home. The paparazzi were congregated outside our house after the story broke yesterday morning, so I told Nigella to take the kids off till the dust settled."

Despite attempts to play it down, the incident has sparked a wave of indignation that has increased awareness around the issue of domestic violence - with many taking it to the Internet to condemn the unacceptable behaviour of both Charles Saatchi and the diners that had witnessed the assault without intervening.

Labour MP Luciana Berger commented on Twitter: "A man reportedly grasps a woman’s neck 4 times in public & no one intervenes, incl. photographer who took photos". BNP leader Nick Griffin, being his usual self, instead decided to make a distasteful joke about what happened, tweeting: "If I had the opportunity to squeeze Nigella Lawson, her throat wouldn’t be my first choice".

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