Jun 17, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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British police are investigating newspaper photos that show renowned art collector Charles Saatchi with his hands around the throat of his wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.

The pictures were published by the “Sunday People” tabloid and were taken during an argument at a London restaurant on June 9th.

London police say they have not received a criminal complaint about the incident, and they’re assessing whether a formal investigation is warranted.

70 year-old Saatchi is Britain’s best-known art collector. He told London’s Evening Standard newspaper that the pictures mis-represented “a playful tiff.”

He admits “the pictures are horrific” but says they give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place.

He says the couple was “having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella’s neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasize my point.”

In Britain a complaint from the victim is not necessary to lay assault charges if there is enough evidence from witnesses.

Lawson is 53 years old. She gained fame with her 1998 best-seller “How To Eat”and is one of Britain’s best-known cookbook writers. She’s also part of ABC’s cooking program “The Taste.”

Saatchi is co-founder of the Saatchi & Saatchi ad agency. He owns one of London’s biggest private art galleries.

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