Nigella Lawson has been hit with fresh accusations of cocaine use.

The TV chef's former assistant Elisabetta Grillo claimed she snorted the Class A drug every three days using rolled up £20 notes and American bank notes and also freely smoked cannabis in front of her children.

The allegations were made by Elisabetta, 41, at Isleworth Crown Court in London yesterday (12.12.13) in the ongoing fraud trial against her and her sister Francesca, 35, who are accused of spending around £685,000 on company credit cards.

Nigella last week admitted to using cocaine seven times in her life and says she did smoke cannabis for much of the final year of her troubled marriage to art dealer Charles Saatchi, 70.

Quizzed how often she saw evidence of the 53-year-old star's alleged cocaine use, Elisabetta said: ''Like every three days. Regularly. Not only once, for sure.''

The former aide says she never challenged her boss about her drug use but Nigella was aware she knew.

Elisabetta claims she first witnessed the self-styled domestic goddess' cocaine habit when she was married to late husband John Diamond, who died in 2001.

She said: ''I was cleaning and I noticed a little packet on top of the toilet. It was a little funny envelope. I saw white powder.

''I saw cash, like £20 notes, rolled up and once noticed a credit card with white powder and a CD with white stuff on.''

She also claimed Nigella would smoke cannabis in front of her children, Cosima and Bruno, who were led to believe it was medicinal.

The Italian assistant added: ''They said she was smoking cannabis with them. She couldn't sleep so she'd go downstairs and smoke. They'd say that was helping mama.''