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!
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • 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.