Clasping her chin and staring into the distance, this is Nigella Lawson dining with Charles Saatchi at the same restaurant where almost a week earlier he had repeatedly grabbed her by the throat.
The couple had returned to Scotts in Mayfair, their favourite restaurant, and sat feet from where Nigella was choked and fled in tears six days earlier.
These new photographs, taken in the 24 hours before the celebrity chef walked out on Saatchi, show Nigella staring into the distance looking glassy-eyed, and barely talking to her husband.
He was also seen touching her face tenderly, but she refused to meet his gaze.
The next day Miss Lawson left their Chelsea home with her children, and has not been seen publicly since.
Yesterday the multi-millionaire art collector confessed to assaulting his third wife in public because he did not want the attack, which he called a 'playful tiff', 'hanging over all of us for months'.
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The attack had happened on Sunday, June 9, but they stayed together for another week before Nigella left.
Saatchi was back eating dinner in Mayfair last night, just a two minute walk from their favourite restaurant where he was seen clutching her neck.
The multimillionaire arrived at 34 restaurant near Bond Street without his third wife, who left their Chelsea home with her children and has not returned.
It is not clear if he dined alone, but comedian Harry Enfield and Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev left 30 seconds after the 70-year-old.
Miss Lawson, 53, one of Britain’s favourite cookery writers, has not been seen in public since leaving the family home more than 72 hours ago.
Photographs of her being choked and pinched on the nose by Saatchi while they sat outside Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair caused outrage.
Yesterday Saatchi said he voluntarily went to police on the advice of his lawyer to head off a lengthy investigation.
As a result he was not arrested and escaped with a caution, a low-level punishment more commonly associated with vandalism and pickpocketing.
Saatchi, 70, emerged from his £14million seven-bedroom Chelsea home grinning broadly yesterday but the controversy around his actions showed no sign of going away.
He was interviewed under caution by officers from the Community Safety Unit during four hours at Charing Cross police station on Monday. He was not arrested and did not have either his DNA or fingerprints taken.
In a statement, the former advertising mogul said: ‘Although Nigella made no complaint I volunteered to go to Charing Cross and take a police caution after a discussion with my lawyer because I thought it was better than the alternative of this hanging over all of us for months.’
Miss Lawson was seen leaving in a flood of tears but her husband later dismissed the confrontation as a ‘playful tiff’.
Last night Saatchi was pictured going into another Mayfair restaurant, 34, on his own.
Scotland Yard has a ‘positive arrest’ policy in cases of domestic violence. It says officers must ‘arrest the suspect where there are reasonable grounds to suspect their involvement’ in a crime.
The Crown Prosecution Service said cautions are ‘rarely appropriate’ in domestic violence cases. Its guidelines say: ‘This is because such cases involve a breach of trust and are unlikely to be the first offence.’
Legal experts said Saatchi’s actions in choking his wife and pushing her nose could constitute common assault, which carries a maximum penalty of six months jail.
He received a ‘simple police caution’, a punishment which means he does not have a criminal record.
But the offence will appear on enhanced criminal checks and would count against him if he is arrested.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘The option of inviting someone to voluntarily attend a police station with their solicitor and to be interviewed under caution is widely used, including in some cases of domestic violence, as long as our duty of care to the victim, and the needs of the investigation, are still met.’
But the decision to give Saatchi a caution angered womens’ rights campaigners, who said the authorities missed an opportunity to set an example.
Sandra Horley, of Refuge, which helps domestic abuse victims, said national police guidelines state that cautions are ‘rarely appropriate’ in domestic abuse cases.
‘Cautions are sometimes used when a man admits to the assault and where there is no previous criminal record or history of violence,’ she said. ‘However, Refuge has concerns about cautioning perpetrators of domestic violence as it does not act as an effective deterrent..
Miss Lawson, 53, looked tearful as he grabbed her neck four times, first with his left hand and then both.
'It was utterly shocking to watch. I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really'
As he held her neck, they clutched hands across the table before Mr Saatchi tweaked her nose and used both wrists to push her face.
Afterwards, Miss Lawson dabbed her tearful eyes in a napkin as he tapped his cigarettes impatiently upon the table.
She then gulped a whole glass of wine before appearing to attempt to pacify him with a trembling voice. During the attempted reconciliation, she leaned over the table and kissed his right cheek.
Mr Saatchi, who helped mastermind former prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s election campaigns, then marched off from the table before his wife followed while wiping away her tears.
The apparent assault is said to have put huge strain on their ten-year marriage, his third and her second.
A witness was quoted in a Sunday newspaper as saying: ‘It was utterly shocking to watch.
‘I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and was constantly dabbing her eyes. Nigella was very, very upset.
‘She had a real look of fear on her face. And yet she kissed him. She appeared to be a woman who loves him but was clearly unable to stop him being abusive, frightening and disrespectful to her.’
Neighbours of the couple also spoke of their ‘volatile’ relationship. One said they had previously heard the pair having a bitter argument loudly in the street.
But the neighbours dismissed talks of a split saying they had been spotted walking happily hand-in-hand during the weekend.
One said: ‘They’re both characters and if they did this I’m sure they made up straight away as I’ve seen them together looking happily recently.
‘They argue in the streets and are volatile at times but that could just be their form of passion. Those pictures do look unpleasant though.'
Despite the row, Miss Lawson appears to have given no indication about the incident, or that there is any trouble in her personal life, after tweeting about recipes and telling her followers about restaurants that she has visited.
She also tweeted that she was celebrating the end of her children's exams in school, by making them a lasagne and brownies.
It is not the first time the couple have been seen arguing publicly, but the first that has apparently involved him manhandling her.
Miss Lawson has recently spent a lot of time travelling across the US promoting her new book and successful television series.
The couple live in a £12million former 18th century brewery and gas engineer works that they have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds converting since they bought the seven-bedroom home in 2010.
Miss Lawson's 17-year-old son Bruno helped his mother into a black taxi on Sunday before Mr Saatchi left in another cab shortly afterwards.
Both refused to answer questions about the incident but they were photographed together at the same restaurant on Saturday.
Miss Lawson has two children, Cosima, 19, and Bruno, with her husband John Diamond, who she met while they worked at The Sunday Times.
She moved in with Mr Saatchi, who was a friend of her first husband, nine months after he died of throat cancer aged 41 and shortly after her debut cooking television show Nigella Bites aired.
Charles left his wife of 15 years, Kay Hartenstein, with whom he has a daughter called Phoebe, and pursued his relationship with the Domestic Goddess.
In 2002 his former wife revealed that she had had no idea their marriage was over until one of her daughter's teachers said how sorry she was to hear about the Saatchis' divorce.
Despite it being his third marriage, the art tycoon seems happy to criticise his wife, who in a 2007 interview dubbed him 'the exploder', the Daily Telegraph reported.
She said in 2007: 'I'll go quiet when he explodes, and then I am a nest of horrible festeringness.'
He has made many scathing comments about Nigella's food. In a 2011 interview, Miss Lawson recalled how he once said: ‘I like toast with Dairylea, followed by Weetabix for supper.'
She added: 'Charles said to me there is nothing you could cook ever that would compare favourably with Weetabix,'
'I suggested he joined me in some prawn dansak I had made recently and said "how was it ?". He told me it was the most disgusting thing he'd ever eaten and he was telling me so I never gave it to him again.
'It is an amusing challenge for me to get to grips with his eating habits I can tell you.'
Mr Saatchi admits Miss Lawson’s food is 'a bit wasted' on him 'but the children like it.'
The art mogul, who is notoriously reclusive, has only occasionally answered questions about his personal life.
In a 2010 interview where a member of the public asked him whether he considered himself an idiot or an optimist for marrying three times, the arts patron said that Nigella found it 'common' being his third wife.
He said: 'We all know the thing about second marriages being a triumph of hope over experience, but then once one makes a habit of getting married, it seems a bit rude to go out with anyone and not marry them.
'Nigella finds it rather common to be my third wife, and would have found it more chic to be my fifth.'
In a recent interview, Miss Lawson revealed that she was physically abused by her mother when she was a child.
A violent and depressive woman, Vanessa Salmon – who married former Conservative Chancellor Nigel Lawson, would lash out at her and her brother, former Sunday Telegraph editor Dominic, when they made too much noise, she claimed.
She said her mother's actions meant that she never cries, and refuses to weep even as an adult.
She is convinced that she in particular would face her mother's wrath because she 'just didn’t like me'.
Miss Lawson, who was one of four children, told FT Weekend in November: ‘I never thought I could please her.
'She was funny but depressed and so sensitive to noise. The sound of a plastic bag being crinkled would send her deranged. She’d shout at all of us and say, "I'm going to hit you till you cry", and so I never would cry. I still don't.
'It wasn’t a calculated thing; it was hot-blooded hitting, a thrashing out of things. Once she had to stop hitting Dominic [Nigella’s brother] as she hurt her hand.
'She just didn’t like me; maybe because I came after Dominic the princeling and I was my father’s girl she was jealous, I don’t know.
'I would say I’m sorry for whatever it was, some mess, and she’d say, "Why do you think being inconsiderate is an excuse?"'
Domestic violence is a top priority crime in the capital, and senior officers will want to investigate even without a complaint from the victim.
A spokesman for Scott's said: 'The staff and management at Scott's are aware of the reports in the media and would like to make it clear that they did not see the alleged incident nor were they alerted to it at the time.