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Nigella Lawson is lying over drug use, court told

By Paul Cheston

Nigella Lawson has been accused in court of failing to tell the truth in the witness box about her cocaine habit.

Ms Lawson's former personal assistant, Elisabetta Grillo, told the jury she had seen evidence of the TV cook's drug use "every three days" at the family's Belgravia home.

Ms Grillo said she saw rolled-up banknotes and white powder "regularly" as she cleaned the house.

Ms Lawson's daughter, Mimi, told the PA that the Domestic Goddess smoked cannabis with her children, the court heard. The cook's moods also swung wildly between "kisses" and being "mean", the jury was told.

Ms Lawson told Isleworth Crown Court last week she had taken cocaine only once, in 2010, during her 10-year marriage to multi-millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi.

Yesterday, Ms Grillo was asked by her counsel, Anthony Metzer QC: "Was Ms Lawson telling the truth?" "No," she replied.

But the PA admitted she had never seen her employer take drugs or raised the subject with her because it would be "too embarrassing".

However, Ms Grillo told the court she was certain Ms Lawson knew she knew about her drug abuse – but Mr Saatchi did not.

Ms Lawson had previously told the jury she had taken cocaine six times with her then husband John Diamond when he had terminal cancer.

Ms Grillo also said that Ms Lawson had always hoped to "change" Mr Saatchi "but he never did".

Ms Grillo (41) and her sister Francesca (35) deny defrauding Ms Lawson and Mr Saatchi of £685,000 by using corporate credit cards to buy holidays and designer clothes.

Belfast Telegraph


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