According to documents read out in court this week, Nigella Lawson has been accused of taking drugs by her estranged husband, art dealer Charles Saatchi. His alleged claim was read from an email reportedly sent by the businessman to his wife regarding the two former assistants to the celebrity couple, sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo.
Nigella has remained absent from public since her divorce earlier this year
In a forthcoming fraud trail, the defendants are accused of using private credit cards given to them by Saatchi and Lawson to make purchases for themselves, the the pair are alleged to have used their position to defraud thousands of pounds from the couple between 1 January, 2008, and 31 December, 2012. The defendants deny the charges, however Saatchi's claims have not been used to defend the women, but instead to shame his ex-wife and speculate that her drug-taking would result in the Grillos getting off scott free.
"Now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you, Mimi (and another person) were so off your head on drugs you allowed them to spend whatever they liked. Yes, I believe every word they said," the email, read out in court by Judge Robin Johnson, said. Mimi is Lawson's eldest daughter, who she had with first husband John Diamond.
Nigella and Charles in happier times
The barrister for the defence requested that Saatchi's comments be used in court, with Judge Johnson allowing the revelation to go to press despite the trial not starting yet. Johnson then followed up his reading of the email by stating that he had asked Mr Saatchi what he meant by his comments, recalling Saatchi's word as, "At the time of sending the email I was completely astounded by the scale of drug use set out in the statements (from the defendants)."
"Nevertheless I did believe the allegations that I'm referring to in the email," Saatchi's explanation continued, "I have been asked whether it referred to a belief that Nigella or the children permitted the sisters to spend whatever they liked. I can't remember precisely what I had in mind. On reflection, I was simply speculating that the sisters would use this information to defend themselves."
Lawson is expected in court at some point during the trial to give evidence against the Grillos, although it is currently unknown exactly when she might appear in court. The court case is expected to last two weeks.
Nigella is yet to comment on the accusations