Nigella Lawson Was a Cokehead: Ex-Assistants

They say she had a daily drug habit

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 27, 2013 10:50 AM CST

(Newser) – The craziness surrounding Nigella Lawson and ex-husband Charles Saatchi got even crazier yesterday, when a London court heard testimony that for more than 10 years, Lawson abused drugs including cocaine on a daily basis. The testimony came as part of a trial involving Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, who used to work for the couple and are accused of defrauding them of more than $488,000, the Guardian reports. The Grillos claim that Lawson let them "spend whatever they liked" as long as they didn't tell Saatchi about her drug habit.

The allegations were first aired earlier this month, when one of the Grillos' lawyers lodged a "bad character application" to try and discredit Lawson as a witness for the prosecution. He says the celebrity chef "did not want [Saatchi] to know about her use, particularly of cocaine. Because the defendants were fully aware of her illicit drug use, she consented to their expenditure on the understanding there would be no disclosure to her husband of her drug usage." The two most amusing part of this sad tale: Saatchi's new nickname for his ex is "Highgella," the New York Daily News reports, and Nigella's "thank you gift" to "Team Nigella" supporters is a "Holiday Hotcake" recipe. The prosecutor calls the drug claims "totally scurrilous."

In this Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 file photo, Nigella Lawson poses during the 28th MIPCOM (International Film and Programme Market for Tv, Video,Cable and Satellite) in Cannes, southeastern France.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)
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