Nigella Lawson is apparently devastated at the news of her husband filing for divorce in the wake of the choking scandal, insisting that while their relationship was strained they were continually working on it.
"There were a lot of things wrong, but Nigella was always hopeful that they could fix things, that he would change, that they could get along without arguing," a source told the Sunday People.
"She's devastated … their family is falling apart, and she can't control the situation," the source added.
Charles Saatchi, 70, announced on Sunday that he was divorcing his wife, in part because she failed to defend him after the alleged choking photos surfaced.
News of the incident spread after Saatchi and Lawson were at an upscale restaurant. Scotland Yard has opened an investigation into the incident, though Lawson has not filed a formal complaint against her husband of 10 years.
"It was utterly shocking to watch," one eyewitness told the Daily Mirror. "I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and constantly dabbing her eyes."
He allegedly put his hands around her neck four times and squeezed, causing her to tear up. Sources say that Lawson appeared frightened and was in tears by the end of the meal.
"Nigella was very, very upset. She had a real look of fear on her face. No man should do that to a woman. She raised her voice and got angry but at the same time was trying to calm him down, almost like you would try to calm down a child," the witness continued.
After the incident, Saatchi left the restaurant while Lawson remained behind at the table. When she finally left, she was in tears. Hours later, the Daily Mail reported that Lawson and her teenage son left the family home.