Lawson, Saatchi to divorce by end of July

LONDON (AP) — Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson and art collector Charles Saatchi said they intend to conclude a “swift and amicable” divorce by the end of the month, with neither receiving any financial compensation from the other.

The couple separated after a newspaper published photos last month of Saatchi grasping his wife’s throat during an argument at a London restaurant.

A statement issued Monday on their behalf said neither would contest the divorce “and neither party will be making any financial claims against the other.”

It said Lawson had hired powerhouse divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton — whose previous clients include Prince Charles and Paul McCartney — while Saatchi was representing himself.

The couple’s “decree nisi,” or initial divorce decree, is due to be pronounced July 31.

Lawson and Saatchi married in 2003 and lived in London with Lawson’s son and daughter from her marriage to journalist John Diamond, who died of cancer in 2001, and Saatchi’s daughter from a previous marriage.

Saatchi, 70, was cautioned by police over the throat-grabbing episode, and shortly afterward announced that the couple was divorcing. He said he was disappointed Lawson had not spoken up to defend his reputation after the incident.

Lawson, 53, is a well-known TV presenter and chef whose cookbooks are best-sellers in Britain and the United States.

Saatchi, co-founder of the Saatchi & Saatchi ad agency, owns one of London’s biggest private art galleries. He was the main patron of the Young British Artists movement of the 1990s, which made household names of artists including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

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