Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi: "Playful Tiff" or Abuse?

Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi: "Playful Tiff" or Abuse?

A disturbing photo showing celebrity chef Nigella Lawson with her multimillionaire husband's hand around her throat is front page news and it's drawing concern for the domestic goddess from around the world.

The photo shows Nigella and her husband, former advertising executive Charles Saatchi, in what appears to be a violent argument at a popular London restaurant. It was first published in London's Daily Mirror newspaper, which claims that Nigella was grabbed by the neck four times and that she left the restaurant in tears.

Nigella is a bestselling author and frequent guest on talk shows. She was recently a judge on ABC's The Taste.

So far, she has made no comment about the shocking photo. But, she was photographed looking distressed yesterday while leaving her home with a suitcase.

Today, her husband is calling the incident nothing more than a "playful tiff." Saatchi told the London Guardian, "We were having an intense debate about the children and I held Nigella's neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasize my point."

"Nigella's tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt. We had made up by the time we were home," Saatchi said.

But a witness at the restaurant painted a different picture.

"It was utterly shocking to watch. I have no doubt she was scared. She was very tearful and constantly dabbing her eyes. Nigella was very, very upset," the witness stated.

The couple has been photographed arguing in public before.

London police say she hasn't made a formal complaint, but they are investigating the incident.