How Nigella Lawson discovered happiness after her divorce: 'I'm not sure I would have thought I'd be a mended person'

She divorced Charles Satchi in 2013 after hitting headlines.

Nigella Lawson
(Image credit: Alamy)

Seven years after her divorce from gallery-owner Charles Saatchi was finalised, Nigella Lawson has opened up about finally finding happiness.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, the TV chef and food writer explained that she was ‘really surprised’ to feel happy and content "because [she] didn’t think [happiness] was one of her gifts".

Whilst she didn’t go into detail about the divorce itself, when asked whether she would have believed back then that she could feel so positive now, she responded that, "I’m not sure I would have thought I’d be a mended person, which I am."

Nigella's marriage to Charles Saatchi

Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi were married for ten years before photographs emerged of Saatchi appearing to have his hands around her throat. A month later, she filed for a decri nisi, ending their marriage.

This was then followed by an equally high-profile court case when the couple’s former assistants Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo stood accused of stealing thousands of pounds using the couple’s credit cards.

The sisters then claimed that Nigella had been aware of their actions and that she had given her permission as long as they would keep quiet regarding her alleged drug abuse.

In her interview with the newspaper, she reflected on this and said that she put on ‘an armour’ at the time.

"That’s how I feel about everything; you plough on,’ she went on to say, before sharing that she now sees it’s ok ‘not to cope on the outside’, but had ‘never thought [she] had that freedom."

The trial: under attack

During the trial, Nigella admitted that she had used drugs to help her cope with her marriage to make ‘an intolerable situation bearable’ and has described Saatchi as a ‘brilliant but destructive man.’

The Grillo sisters were later found not guilty and whilst her admissions may have been unexpected, many came forward to support the TV chef following the ordeal.

In another interview with The Irish Times published last year, Nigella had opened up about ‘feeling exposed and under attack’. She added that ‘in a way, it would have been better for me to be able to speak openly’, but that becoming a tabloid story and everything associated with that ‘gave me a form of trauma of its own.’

Eat, Cook, Repeat

She went on to say that she ‘would genuinely rather talk about food’, something echoed in her latest Guardian article when she reveals that the secret to her beautiful skin is ‘no sun and eating lots of fats’.

With her new book, Cook, Eat, Repeat and its accompanying television show, it seems she is back doing the thing she loves the most - sharing comforting recipes and how to make the most of your favourite ingredients.

Nigella also concludes that she now worries less, having ‘stopped looking back on the past an awful lot’ and reveals ‘I’m very happy at last.’

Cook, Eat, Repeat by Nigella Lawson (£26, Chatto & Windus) is out 29 October


Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.

Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for 

After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!