Multimillionaire accepts police caution after media publish photo of his hand on his celebrity chef wife's neck
Charles Saatchi told a London newspaper Tuesday that he went to police voluntarily over an incident in which he grabbed his wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, by the throat to avoid it "hanging over all of us for months."The furor over the incident dominated the British press Tuesday, a day after Saatchi accepted a police warning related to the case.In a statement to The Evening Standard newspaper, for which he is a columnist, Saatchi said: "Although Nigella made no complaint I volunteered to go to Charing Cross station and take a police caution after a discussion with my lawyer because I thought it was better than the alternative of this hanging over all of us for months."Images of Saatchi, a multimillionaire art collector and former advertising magnate, with his hand around Lawson's throat were front-page news in national papers for a second day Tuesday, after they were first published Sunday.
Saatchi, age 70, looked stony-faced as he left his home in central London earlier Tuesday and declined to respond to questions from waiting journalists.
"About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella's neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasize my point," Saatchi told the paper.
"There was no grip, it was a playful tiff. The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place. Nigella's tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt," he added. "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."
According to a UK government website, a caution is issued for minor crimes."Cautions are given to adults aged 18 or over for minor crimes -- eg writing graffiti on a bus shelter," the website says. "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."
Press, anti-violence groups scrutinize throat grab on Nigella Lawson - CNN.com