The TV chef arrived at Isleworth Crown Court this afternoon to testify in the case against sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo
Nigella Lawson has broken her silence on those summer drug claims, revealing she has taken cocaine, but only several times in her life.
She said: ‘I have never been a drug addict. I’ve never been a habitual user. There are two times in my life when I have used cocaine. I have to be honest, I have smoked the odd joint. It’s a false friend and not a good idea.
‘I have to say, since freeing myself from a brilliant but brutal man, I’m now totally cannabis, cocaine, any drug-free.’
The TV chef, who made headlines earlier this year when pictures emerged of a heated restaurant argument between her and her husband, told a courtroom that her ex-husband Charles Saatchi threatened to ‘destroy’ her if she did not go back to him and clear his name.
Dressed all in black, the 53-year-old spoke of her husband when she was questioned over a fraud case surrounding her former staff, sisters Francesca and Elizabetta Grillo. She said: ‘I have been put on trial here where I am called to answer, and glad to answer the allegations, and the world’s press, and it comes after a long summer of bullying and abuse.
‘He (Saatchi) had said to me if I didn’t get back to him and clear his name he would destroy me.’
Nigella also spoke of a ‘PR blog’ which publicised false allegations of drug abuse in which she claimed shed her ex-husband in a fairer light. She added that the allegations were ‘dedicated to salvaging Mr Saatchi’s reputation and destroying mine’ and told the court how he ‘has a temper’ and ‘didn’t like to take part in family life’.
She told the court that she first used cocaine when she was nursing her terminally-ill first husband and then again in 2010 when she was having a ‘difficult time’.
She said: ‘There was another time I took cocaine. In July 2010 I was having a very, very difficult time. I felt subjected to intimate terrorism by Mr Saatchi.’
The jury at Isleworth Crown Court has been told how sisters Elisabetta and Francesca are alleged to have committed fraud while working for the couple.
Nigella said: ‘It’s very difficult when you find out that someone you have loved and trusted could behave that way.
‘In my heart of hearts I do not believe Lisa (Elisabetta) to be a bad person. I believe her not to have a very strong moral compass. She broke our heart.’ Both deny the charges.
Nigella referred to the ‘awful incident at Scotts’ while discussing the pictures that graced global newspaper front pages.
The case continues…