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Nigella Lawson, Charles Saatchi

Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Things seemed to have gotten alarmingly heated for Nigella Lawson—and it had nothing to do with a steaming kitchen.

British authorities are investigating an alleged incident that occurred between the British celebrity chef and her husband, advertising bigwig Charles Saatchi, after photos surfaced showing him apparently gripping her throat as they dined at a London restaurant.

Images of the purported encounter—which reportedly happened a week ago at Scott's Restaurant in Mayfair—were published yesterday in The Mirror's Sunday People edition, immediately sparking concern that Saatchi had attempted to choke his wife of nine years.

According to the paper, an onlooker claimed that Saatchi, 70, first grabbed the 53-year-old Lawson's throat with this left hand, then with both, and that the celebrity chef left the restaurant in tears.

Metropolitan Police confirmed that it is currently looking into the incident, according to a statement obtained by E! News.

"Officers from the Community Safety Unit at Westminster are aware of the Sunday People article," authorities said, adding that "enquiries are in hand to establish the facts of the incident" and that no arrests were made.

Saatchi, meanwhile, is insisting that that alleged encounter was nothing more than a "playful tiff."

"About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella's neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasize my point," he told the London Evening Standard.

"There was no grip, it was a playful tiff. The pictures are horrific but give a far more drastic and violent impression of what took place. Nigella's tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt," Saatchi noted, adding, that he and Lawson "made up by the time we were home."