Charles Saatchi, the husband of TV chef and author Nigella Lawson, was let off with a warning after being photographed with his hand around Lawson’s throat.
Saatchi walked into a London police station Monday (June 17), where he was questioned about the incident for several hours and eventually given what’s known as a “caution for assault.” In the British justice system, cautions are essentially warnings given for “minor crimes.” A person has to admit the offense and agree to accept the caution — the alternative is an arrest — but it’s not a criminal conviction.
“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,” Saatchi tells the London Evening Standard, where he’s also a columnist.
The 70-year-old Saatchi was photographed with his hand around Lawson’s throat as the couple dined at a London restaurant recently, and onlookers reported the two were arguing (though apparently no one stepped in). Saatchi then referred to the incident as a “playful tiff” before going in for questioning Monday.
Lawson has yet to comment publicly on the incident, although she and her children have left their London home for the time being.