Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson's 10-year marriage to art tycoon Charles Saatchi ended in just 70 seconds at the High Court.

Lawson, 53 and Saatchi, 70 were granted a decree nisi (a statement saying the court sees no reason why a divorce cannot be granted) on the grounds that the marriage had irretrievably broken down. Neither the couple nor their legal representatives attended the hearing.

It is reported that the divorce will be rubber-stamped sometime in September. However, neither the terms of the separation nor the related financial settlements will be released to the public.

Saatchi filed for divorce from his wife after she failed to defend him in public, following the publication of pictures which appeared to show him grabbing her by the throat outside a London restaurant.

"I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced. This is heartbreaking for both of us as our love was very deep, but in the last year, we have become estranged and drifted apart," Saatchi told The Mail.

"I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way."

Saatchi has been widely criticised over the alleged choking incident. Shortly after the pictures were published, Lawson was pictured with her son Bruno leaving her marital home with a suitcase.

According to Lawson's close friends, the 17-year age gap between Lawson and Saatchi began to damage the relationship.

"Saatchi used to be the king, regarded as the man who made Brit Art. Now he comes across as a grumpy old man. The 17-year age difference is ­becoming a problem. When they first married it didn't seem so great. Now it is like an abyss.

"There are so many things that they don't see eye to eye on. Nigella lives for food and parties while Charles is slowly starting to be just the opposite. Not many of Nigella's friends like him but they tolerate him. He is quite old -fashioned."