For the last two days, Nigella Lawson took stand as a witness in the fraud trial of her former assistants, Francesca Grillo and Elisabetta Grillo. The sisters, who worked for Lawson for more than 10 years, are charged with allegedly defrauding Lawson and ex-husband Charles Saatchi out of more than £300,000 ($484,600) while under their employment.
The Grillos deny the accusations and, as part of their defense, they claim Lawson authorized them to freely use Saatchi's company credit card in exchange for their silence regarding her alleged drug use.
While testifying on Wednesday and Thursday, Lawson made quite a few revelations, mostly revolving around said drug use.
1. Cocaine Use: Per Central News, Lawson told jurors at the Isleworth Crown Court in London that she had used cocaine on several occasions in her life, including six times when her first husband, John Diamond, was battling cancer. She also admitted to using the drug in 2010 because she claims she "was being subjugated to intimate terrorism by Mr. Charles Saatchi."
2. Other Drug Use: Lawson testified that she had 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.
3. Claims She Revealed Cocaine Use to Saatchi: "With regards to the cocaine use I admitted to when my first husband was dying, Mr. Saatchi knew about that," Lawson said. "But he did not know about the one occasion in July 2010 and he did not know about the cannabis use."
4. On Alleged Choking Incident: 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. During her testimony, Lawson said that "Charles told everyone that he was taking cocaine out of my nose...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.'"
5. Not an Addict: "I am not proud of the fact that I have taken drugs, but that does not make me a drug addict or a habitual drug user," Lawson said. "Do you think a regular cocaine user looks like this? They are scrawny and unhealthy. If I was taking drugs to the extent you say, I would not be able to stand up here today. If you think I would sabotage my health and leave my children orphans, you are wrong...I have never knowingly met a drug dealer or bought cocaine."