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Two former assistants of Nigella Lawson were found not guilty of fraud by a London court on Friday, Dec. 20, following a trial in which the celebrity chef's alleged drug use became a focal point.
Sisters Francesca Grillo and Elisabetta Grillo, who worked for Lawson for more than 10 years, had been charged with allegedly defrauding Lawson and ex-husband Charles Saatchi out of more than £300,000 ($484,600) while under their employment.
The Grillos denied the allegations and, as part of their defense, claimed Lawson had authorized them to freely use Saatchi's company credit card in exchange for their silence regarding her purported drug use.
While taking the stand as a witness during the trial, Lawson told jurors at the Isleworth Crown Court she had used cocaine on several occasions in her life as well as admitting to smoking cannabis to deal with her "intolerable" marriage to Saatchi. However, Lawson insisted she was not a "drug addict or a habitual drug user."
Following Friday's verdict, London's Metropolitan Police force said Scotland Yard will not investigate claims Lawson took cocaine, but will review the decision if new evidence comes to light, the Press Association reports.
Meanwhile, Lawson said she was "disappointed but unsurprised" by the acquittal of the Grillo sisters on fraud charges.
"Over the three week trial the jury was faced with a ridiculous sideshow of false allegations about drug use which made focus on the actual criminal trial impossible."