It's not exactly a mea culpa. After Charles Saatchi accepted a police caution for the instantly infamous "throat-grabbing" incident with wife Nigella Lawson, many interpreted the move as an admission of guilt. Not exactly, the 70-year-old art mogul explained in a statement to UK newspaper The Evening Standard, where Saatchi also serves as a columnist.
"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 explained.
Married to British celebrity chef Lawson, 53, for ten years, Saatchi was photographed leaving Charing Cross Police Station in central London on Monday June 17, after being questioned for five hours. "Officers from the Community Safety Unit at Westminster were aware of the Sunday People article which was published on 16 June and carried out an investigation," a Met spokesman said. "This afternoon a 70-year-old man voluntarily attended a Central London police station and accepted a caution for assault." (A police caution is a formal warning in the U.K. for minor offenses that carries no penalty.)
The fracas began after photos were published over the weekend of the spouses having a tense, emotional conversation about two weeks ago over an al fresco lunch at London seafood eatery Scott's; as the Nigella Bites star looked tearful, Saatchi put both of his hands tightly around her throat. "There was no grip, it was a playful tiff," the multimillionaire previously explained of their "intense" argument.
For her part, Lawson has left the London home she shares with Saatchi -- taking with her Cosima and Bruno, her kids with late first husband John Diamond. "We do not know when she will return," a source close to Lawson told Us Monday. "They slept at a family friend's house last night."