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Nigella Lawson, Kids Leave Family Home After Husband Choking Photos Released

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Nigella Lawson has left the London family home she shares with husband Charles Saatchi after shocking photos of the couple's violent fight are released. Dave M. Benett/Getty

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."

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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.

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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."

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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.

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