Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi are expected to be divorced within a matter of weeks after negotiating a swift agreement to keep the terms of their separation private, according to reports.
Last week, documents were filed at the High Court after the couple — estimated to be worth £150million — agreed on a settlement through Nigella's lawyer, Fiona Shackleton.
CLICK ON PHOTO FULL GALLERY
It is understood that Charles decided to dispense with his own lawyers, and deal with Fiona directly in an attempt to hold on to his vast art collection. Friends told the Daily Mail, "He and Nigella agreed — via Fiona Shackleton — to a speedy divorce.
"Fiona Shackleton is Nigella's first cousin and Charles highly respects her. He did not hire a lawyer himself and he has not even spoken to Helen Ward, whom a Sunday paper claimed he has hired.
"Fiona prepared a full court document, every detail of every asset was listed, and an agreement was reached with no dispute.
"They have agreed never to make public the terms of the divorce or financial settlements. Fiona lodged the divorce document with the court last Friday."
Legal experts have said it's likely that Nigella, 53, and Charles, 70, signed a pre-nuptial agreement when they wed in 2003, given that they both entered the marriage with considerable assets.
Their ten-year union unravelled five weeks ago when Charles was photographed with his hands around Nigella's throat as they dined together outside Scott's restaurant in London.
The British businessman claimed the incident was nothing more than a "playful tiff", but later accepted a police caution for assault.
Nigella moved out of the family home, but friends say she wanted to give the marriage another chance and was left "floored" and "blindsided" by his decision to begin divorce proceedings against her.