Nigella Lawson: Devastated By Charles Saatchi Divorce

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Nigella Lawson's marriage to Charles Saatchi was far from perfect - getting choked in a restaurant is never a good sign - but she's devastated by its end.

When Saatchi filed to divorce Lawson last weekend, it blindsided her.

Nigella Lawson Scandal

"She moved out, she needed a break, she needed to think, to be apart, but in no terms did they break up or even discuss the D-word," an insider says.

"She didn't expect him to pull this move."

Unlike her dessert recipes, the way he went about it left a particularly bitter taste in her mouth, as the former Food Network star hoped they might work it out.

"Before all of this, their relationship was strained, but they were always working on it," the source explains, citing her job in America as a point of contention.

"There were a lot of things wrong, but Nigella was always hopeful that they could fix things, that he would change, that they could get along without arguing."

"She's devastated," the insider adds of the distraught celebrity chef.

"Their family is falling apart, and she can't control the situation."

Saatchi, 70, announced on Sunday that he was divorcing his wife, in part because she failed to defend him after the alleged choking photos surfaced.

"I am disappointed," he said, "that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women."

He denies abusing Nigella Lawson, 53, in any way:

"The row photographed at Scott's restaurant could equally have been Nigella grasping my neck to hold my attention -- as indeed she has done in the past."

The statement continued, "This is heartbreaking for both of us as our love was very deep, but in the last year we have become estranged and drifted apart.