Charles Saatchi has spoken out about his alleged choking of wife Nigella Lawson.
As previously reported, witnesses told a British newspaper that the couple got into a major argument at a restaurant... that Lawson looked especially upset... and that Saatchi reached across the table at one point and wrapped his hands around her neck.
In the face of published photographs that depict this act, the 70-year old art collector The Standard:
“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 emphasise my point.
“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."
Saatchi adds that he and Laweson "made up" by the time they got home and Lawson only left the house with their children because it was surrounded by the paparazzi.
"I told Nigella to take the kids off till the dust settled," Saatchi says.
A spokesperson for the celebrity chef, meanwhile, confirms Nigella took her kids away and that no formal charges have been filed against her husband.
"Inquiries are in hand to establish the facts in order to assess whether an investigation is necessary," says the spokesperson.