Nigella Lawson needs some space from husband Charles Saatchi -- and she's taking her two kids with her. After the British celeb chef, 53, was photographed crying and looking distraught as Saatchi grabbed her throat during a contentious recent lunch, "she has left the family home with the children," her rep tells Us Weekly of the London-based Nigella Bites star, mom to Cosima and Bruno, her kids with late first husband John Diamond.
Adds a source close to Lawson: "We do not know when she will return. They slept at a family friend's house last night."
Scotland Yard previously confirmed that it's already investigating the incident, which went down about two weeks ago as the spouses of ten years dined outside at London eatery Scott's.
Multimillionaire art collector Saatchi, 70, meanwhile, claims it's all a misunderstanding. There was no grip, it was a playful tiff," Saatchi insisted to the Evening Standard. "The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place."
The couple were spotted at Scott's again over the weekend -- before Lawson left the home -- having a "relaxed and happy" meal, according to an observer.