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Nigella Lawson admitted that she has used cocaine and cannabis while testifying on Wednesday, Dec. 4, during the fraud trial of her former assistants, Francesca Grillo and Elisabetta Grillo.
Per Central News, the English celebrity chef told the Isleworth Crown Court in London, during her extremely detailed testimony, that she has used cocaine several occasions in her life, including six times when her first husband, John Diamond, was battling cancer.
"One time was when my husband knew his cancer was terminal, and he was introduced to it by a friend who thought it would help," she told jurors about one episode of using the drug.
"I did on maybe six occasions and joined in with him—it was a small amount," she added. "It gave him an escape, but I didn't want an escape because I had to look after him and the children."
The 53-year-old then explained she used the drug in 2010 because "I was having a very, very difficult time, I was being subjugated to intimate terrorism by Mr. Charles Saatchi." She said she visited with her doctor following this incident.
"I concluded that I did not have a drug problem, I had a life problem, and I needed to attend to that and I did seek out a therapist," Lawson revealed.
When asked if she was an addict, she slammed the claims as "absolutely ridiculous."
"I have never been a habitual drug addict or abuse," she said.
As far as other drug use, Lawson testified that she has smoked cannabis "relatively recently" and in front of her two children, but added she had only used drugs once during her 10-year marriage to Saatchi in July 2010.
She also admitted in court that Saatchi has "savaged her reputation" and instead of a trial against their former employees, she has been put her on trial for false drug allegations.
This claim comes on the heels of Saatchi accusing his ex-wife in an email, heard in court, of being "so off her head on drugs" that she gave the Grillo sisters permission to spend unlimited amounts of money, as well as the Grillo sisters claiming they were authorized to freely use Saatchi's company credit card in exchange for their silence regarding her alleged drug use. Lawson flatly denied these allegations while testifying.
The Grillo sisters, who worked for Lawson for more than 10 years, are on trial for allegedly defrauding the couple out of more than £300,000 ($484,600) while under their employment. They deny the accusations.
"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," she said.
The TV personality admitted her resistance to testifying in court, and said that the 70-year-old art dealer threatened her in a letter that he would "destroy" her if she did not clear his name.
The court was shown photographs of the alleged choking incident between Saatchi and Lawson, which show him apparently gripping her throat as they dined at a London restaurant in June.
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Shortly after the pictures surfaced, a PR blog made allegations about drug abuse.
"The allegations on the blog were dedicated to salvaging Charles's reputation and destroying mine," Lawson claimed.
She added during later testimony that "Charles told everyone that he was taking cocaine out of my nose." She clarified the backstory behind the controversial snapshot.
"What actually happened was that somebody walked by with a very cute baby in a stroller and I said 'I am so looking forward to having grandchildren.' And he grabbed me by the throat and said 'I am the only person you should be concerned with—I am the only person who should be giving you pleasure."
During her testimony, Lawson admitted that she was "incredibly close" to all of her personal assistants and had "absolutely no idea" about the monthly limits on the credit cards they were provided.
"I tend to trust everyone implicitly and often that's not rewarded," Lawson admitted.
"I'm still trusting actually—I refuse to become a bitter, untrusting person," she added.
Lawson also testified that Elisabetta, also known as Lisa, wanted to move out of the family's home because she did not want to live with Saatchi.
Lawson described Francesca as a "slight fantasist" and was "flabbergasted" by her alleged spending. Lawson became emotional when she spoke about Lisa.
"It was very difficult when I found out that someone who I trusted has behaved in that way," she said. Lawson also admitted she "would have done anything for her" and that she was her "rock" when her first husband was sick with cancer.