Disturbing photographs surfaced of British television star and celebrity chef Nigella Lawson with what appears to be her husband, art and advertising magnate Charles Saatchi, clenching her throat in public.
The photos, published by UK newspaper The Mirror's Sunday paper, the Sunday People, show Lawson, 53, at a table enshrouded in greenery outside a restaurant with a man who appears to be Saatchi, 70. In the pictures, his hand is at her throat as she appears to be stunned by his grasp.
In another picture, the man is grabbing at Lawson's nose as she shuts her eyes.
The newspaper spoke to other diners who witnessed what they said looked like a violent encounter.
"It was utterly shocking to watch," one onlooker told The Mirror. "I have no doubt she was scared. It was horrific, really. She was very tearful and was constantly dabbing her eyes."
According to other diners at the restaurant, which The Mirror identified as Scott's in London's affluent Mayfair district, the two then left the restaurant separately.
Scott's declined to comment to ABC News.
Lawson's rep, Mark Hutchison, declined to comment on behalf of his client.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers are looking "to establish the facts in order to assess whether an investigation is necessary." No arrests have been made, the spokesman said.
Lawson is famous for her love for food, and stars on ABC's cooking competition show, "The Taste."
ABC News' attempts to contact Saatchi's spokesman were not immediately successful.