The Shmooze

Nigella Lawson's Coke Problem

By Reuters

  • Print
  • Share Share

Two kitchen assistants who used to work for British Jewish celebrity chef Nigella Lawson have alleged that she was a regular user of cocaine and other drugs, according to reports of a court hearing published by several national British media on Tuesday.

The two women are being prosecuted for fraud and the allegation against Lawson forms part of their defence. The media reports said the allegation had been described in court by a prosecution lawyer as untrue and “totally scurrilous”.

Contacted by Reuters, Lawson’s publicist Mark Hutchinson said: “As proceedings are live we can’t comment at the moment.” Under British law, it is legally risky to comment publicly about what is said during criminal court proceedings.

Lawson, often nicknamed the “Domestic Goddess” after the title of one of her bestselling recipe books, is a TV chef and cookery author who is popular in Britain and the United States.

Lawson attracts a lot of media attention in Britain and her recent divorce from millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi made front-page news.

Lawson’s two former assistants, Italian sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, are accused of defrauding Saatchi out of more than 300,000 pounds ($484,600) during the period when they worked for Lawson and Saatchi was still living with her.

The Grillo sisters have pleaded not guilty and part of their defence is that Lawson authorised them to make use of Saatchi’s credit card in return for their silence about her drug-taking, according to the British media reports.

“In a nutshell we submit that she had a guilty secret from her husband, her then husband,” Anthony Metzer, a lawyer for Elisabetta Grillo, told Isleworth Crown Court, according to the Daily Telegraph website.

“She did not want him to know of her use of cocaine and that is highly relevant to the defence case,” Metzer said, according to the same article.

The allegation is that Lawson used cocaine, cannabis and prescription pills “daily” for over a decade.

“This is a totally scurrilous account which has been raised by the defence,” prosecuting lawyer Jane Carpenter was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph article.

Carpenter was quoted as telling the court that despite being arrested more than a year ago and charged in March, the sisters had first made the drugs allegation earlier this month.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: nigella lawson, jewish, drugs, cocaine, british

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.