Shocking Pictures

Art Kingpin Charles Saatchi Photographed Squeezing Nigella Lawson's Throat In London Restaurant

Shocking pictures published today show art magnate Charles Saatchi apparently squeezing the throat of his wife, chef Nigella Lawson

06.16.13 9:29 AM ET

Extraordinary pictures have emerged of the British chef Nigella Lawson - host of the ABC TV show The Taste -  being physically abused by her husband, the billionaire art collector Charles Saatchi, while sitting outside a fashionable London restaurant. The pictures, which are printed on the front page of the Sunday People, appear to show Saatchi, 70, reaching over and squeezing her throat four times.

The shocking abuse saw Nigella, 53, leave Scott's restaurant in Mayfair in floods of tears. No-one intervened.

The paper reports: “It was utterly shocking to watch,” said one onlooker. “I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, ­really. She was very tearful and was ­constantly dabbing her eyes.

“Nigella was very, very upset. She had a real look of fear on her face. No man should do that to a woman. She raised her voice and got angry but at the same time was trying to calm him down, almost like you would try to calm down a child."

The onlooker said: “He looked guilty. It was clear he knew he’d done something wrong. He was menacing, there’s no ­question. She had been abused and ­humiliated in public.”

Another acquaintance told the paper: "Nigella has eclipsed him and he’s grumpier. His ultimate act of rebellion has been to reject her food. I have a ­feeling that drinking and smoking come into this as well. Her first ­husband John Diamond died of throat cancer in 2001. Yet Saatchi smokes."