Drawn and tired, Nigella emerges from hiding

Star leaves rented flat for first time since shock pictures

Nigella Lawson
Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson has ventured out of the rented Mayfair apartment where she has been holed up since pictures were published showing her husband Charles Saatchi holding her by the neck.

The television cook, known as the "domestic goddess", emerged from the exclusive five-storey block over a private members' club just before 11am yesterday, carrying a handbag.

Dressed all in black, she appeared pale and drawn, and did not say anything to waiting reporters before getting into a waiting silver Mercedes.

One onlooker said she had put on some make-up, but she looked thin and strained, and was not wearing her wedding ring. She returned about an hour later.

Jemima Khan, the 39-year-old socialite and writer, visited the block where Ms Lawson is staying for about an hour yesterday.

Ms Lawson (53) has been staying in the serviced apartment, which costs up to £12,000 (€14,000) a week, since she moved out of her marital home in Chelsea, west London, on Sunday after a newspaper printed pictures of Mr Saatchi with his hand around her throat.

ALONE

She has so far made no comment about what happened, but was seen on Wednesday sitting alone outside a restaurant underneath the flat without her wedding ring on.

The incident happened at Scott's in Mayfair on June 9. The millionaire art dealer initially described the incident as a "playful tiff", claiming that he had held his wife's neck repeatedly to "emphasise my point".

However, later the same day he voluntarily went to Charing Cross police station and accepted a caution for assault.

The photographs have provoked a storm of criticism from campaigners against domestic violence.

British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg was accused of dismissing violence against women on Thursday after he failed to condemn Mr Saatchi's assault.

He later issued a statement, saying: "I completely condemn all forms of domestic violence." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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