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Police caution Saatchi for assault on wife Nigella

ART collector Charles Saatchi has been cautioned over a dramatic assault on his TV presenter wife Nigella Lawson captured by a photographer just outside a top London restaurant.

Media reports claim Saatchi (70) had accepted the official warning after a five-hour grilling over photographs published at the weekend, which showed him grasping Nigella's throat.

When asked about Saatchi, London's Metropolitan Police said that a 70-year-old man had been cautioned for assault after voluntarily attending a police station.

The collector had earlier told the London Evening Standard that the photos misrepresented a "playful tiff."

Saatchi, a columnist for the paper, said "the pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place."

"About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella's neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasise my point," he was quoted as saying. "There was no grip, it was a playful tiff."

Nigella's spokesman, Mark Hutchinson, said she and her children had left the family home but declined to comment further.