Nigella Lawson’s former assistants acquitted of fraud charges

By Daniel S Levine,

Two former assistants for celebrity chef Nigella Lawson and her estranged husband Charles Saatchi have been acquitted of fraud charges. Their trial in the U.K. drew international attention, as testimony focused more on the relationship between Lawson and Saatchi, including allegations of drug use.

Sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo had been accused of using credit cards that Lawson and Saatchi gave them to rack up bills on extravagant purchases. They were accused of buying 685,000 pounds (over $1 million) worth of clothes, handbags and hotel rooms. According to the Associated Press, their lawyers claimed that Lawson had agreed to let them use the cards to keep them quiet about her drug use.

That meant that Lawson’s drug use was a topic covered during her testimony, in which she did admit to using cocaine, although she said she was not addicted. During Saatchi’s testimony, he said he had not seen her use drugs.

However, the jury at Isleworth Crown Court found the Grillos not guilty. They were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scotland Yard said that it isn’t going to investigate the Taste host’s drug use, unless there is new evidence.

Lawson and Saatchi split over the summer, after photographers caught them in an argument outside a restaurant. Saatchi was pictured with his hands around Lawson’s neck.

image: ABC


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