Recent reports claim that Charles Saatchi threatened to commit suicide in a bid to win back Nigella Lawson after the first stages of their divorce.
According to The Mail on Sunday, in a series of text messages and phone calls, Charles Saatchi warned he would take his own life and begged his wife to contact him. The “harassing” messages show the depths of despair – some friends say madness – into which Charles Saatchi has sunk.
It appears that he has accused Nigella Lawson of potentially criminal behaviour and allowed his young daughter to make statements alleging illegality by her stepmother.
The revelations come as Nigella Lawson prepares to step up her cookery career, with plans for endorsements, another book and a new TV series to be filmed in Los Angeles in September. She has not seen her estranged husband since photographs of him grasping her by the throat were published in a Sunday newspaper eight weeks ago.
Nigella Lawson has also refused to answer any of the messages Charles Saatchi has been leaving on a daily basis.
However, Nigella Lawson finally relented after Charles Saatchi, 70, said he would kill himself. Such was his despair, his 18-year-old daughter Phoebe also texted her former stepmother to say she was worried about her father’s state of mind.
Friends revealed details of his desperate behaviour after being “appalled” that he allowed his daughter to attack Nigella Lawson by claiming her stepmother had abandoned her.
The couple spoke twice on the phone in the days after their decree nisi was granted on July 31. It is understood that the threats of suicide were made in at least one “ranting” phone call.
According to a friend of Nigella Lawson, she felt she was left with little choice but to contact him.
The friend said: “Charles has been texting and phoning Nigella endlessly. One minute he’s pleading, the next bullying. Her silence has been driving him crazy. When she didn’t reply, he used Phoebe to get Nigella to talk to him, to tell her she was worried about his state of mind. He’s not above using Phoebe as a bargaining chip. In the end, after the threats, Nigella called him. The first conversation was quite sweet.
“It was a case of, <<please come back>>. Nigella was sympathetic. She was going out somewhere and said I hope you don’t [do anything silly].
“The second conversation was more difficult but she held firm.”
A friend of Charles Saatchi also confirmed that he had contemplated suicide in recent weeks as he struggled to come to terms with losing his wife and his reputation.
It is said that one of the hardest things for Charles Saatchi has been Nigella Lawson’s refusal to defend him against allegations of being a wife-beater – allegations Saatchi insists they both know aren’t true.
The suicide threats come amid deepening concerns for the former advertising tycoon who has been acting increasingly strangely of late.
Yesterday he allowed his teenage daughter to issue a statement to a newspaper denouncing Nigella Lawson.
Phoebe, his daughter by his second wife Kay Hartenstein, accused her stepmother Nigella Lawson of abandoning her and said: “She has behaved in a very cold-hearted way.”