14/08/2014 16:57 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Nigella Lawson And Charles Saatchi: Magazine Claims Notorious 'Throttling' Scene Sparked By Daughter Cosima Going To University

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Nigella Lawson with her step-daughter Phoebe and her children Bruno and Cosima

A glossy magazine claims that the notorious 'throttling' row between Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi was sparked by a disagreement on whether her daughter Cosima (known as Mimi) should go to university.

Vanity Fair says Mr Saatchi told a close friend that he had told Miss Lawson that Mimi should continue her internship at The Economist magazine rather than leave to go to university.

This led to the incident outside Scott's restaurant in Mayfair, central London, in June where Mr Saatchi appeared to be 'throttling' a frightened looking Miss Lawson.

Within weeks of the pictures being published around the world, they had divorced after 10 years of marriage.

Miss Lawson said on oath during the trial of the Grillo sisters for fraud that the argument was about her desire to become a grandmother.

But Vanity Fair contradicts this, saying it was about Mimi's education.

During the lunch date, Mr Saatchi is said to have pressed the point that Mimi could continue to impress her bosses at the publication and gain an advantage on those leaving university with little or no experience in the profession.

As the discussion became more and more heated, Miss Lawson excused herself from the table outside and visited the toilets in the restaurant.

Mr Saatchi is said to have told the unnamed source he became increasingly frustrated when Miss Lawson returned to the table and was 'unable to focus'.

The source claimed Mr Saatchi only then took a hold of Miss Lawson's neck to 'get her attention'!

He is then said to have told Nigella: "Listen to me. I feel very passionate about this. I think it's great they love her at The Economist."

Miss Lawson is said to have refused to co-operate with the Vanity Fair article but her court evidence casts doubt on the credibility of the claim.

She told the court: "Someone walked by with a very sweet baby in a stroller, and I said 'I'm so looking forward to having grandchildren'. And he grabbed me by the throat and said: 'I'm the only person you should be concerned with – I'm the only person who should be giving you pleasure'."

Both Miss Lawson and Mr Saatchi insisted the row was not about drugs.

Referring to the incident, Mr Saatchi told Isleworth Crown Court: "I was not gripping, strangling or throttling her. I was holding her head by the neck to make her focus, can we be clear?

"Was it about her drug use? No."

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