She is the impeccably networked journalist turned celebrity chef who is known by everyone for her on-screen presence and gourmet recipes. But on Tuesday, a London court heard that Nigella Lawson had become a daily drug user, taking cocaine, other class B drugs and prescription medicines for more than a decade.
The 53-year old was keeping this “guilty secret” from ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, and he said that he was “very upset” when he found out about her cocaine habit and “hated” the fact that it had been publicised.
Saatchi also disclosed for the first time the reason that Lawson had left him. He mentioned that she felt confined by the relationship and needed a “pass” from him to do the things she desired to do.
The two were divorced in July this year and are currently involved in a court case with two Italian sisters, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo. They were accused of defrauding Saatchi and Lawson of more than £300,000 while working for the celebrity couple.
On the same day, the trial judge also lifted an order preventing publication of claims made in pre-trial proceedings after an angry email from Saatchi surfaced. His message appeared to show that he now accepted the Grillos’ claim that Lawson had permitted them to spend freely provided that they do not tell her husband about her drug use.
The Grillos’ are accused of “grossly abusing their position of trust” by committing fraud using company credit cards and spending over £300,000 on luxuries including designer clothes and first-class air tickets.
The ex-couple had divorced right after a photographer caught the two in a public row outside a restaurant in Mayfair, in which Saatchi was snapped with his hands around Lawson’s throat.
The hearing continues.