Nigella Lawson testifies in fraud case, says ex-husband Charles Saatchi threatened her

By Daniel S Levine,

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson was in London court today, testifying in a fraud case against two former assistants. Although Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo are the ones on trial, it has focused on Lawson’s failed marriage to Charles Saatchi. During her testimony, Lawson said that Saatchi had threatened to “destroy” her after photos of an altercation between the two went viral.

The photos of an argument between the two in public at a restaurant went viral over the summer and Saatchi had tried to downplay their importance in the days after they were published. Later, they filed for divorce and during the entire time, Lawson never made a public statement. On Wednesday, Lawson testified that this angered Saatchi.

“He said that if I didn't go back to him and clear his name he would destroy me,” Lawson said, reports People. She was clearly emotional as she recounted her relationship with Saatchi and called the months after the divorce “a long summer of bullying and abuse.”

“Yes, he did have a temper and I don't think anyone can be in any doubt he had a temper,” she said about Saatchi. He “didn't like to take part in family life.”

The Grillo sisters are faced with embezzlement charges, which they’ve denied. The Associated Press reports that they allegedly used credit cards that Lawson and Saatchi loaned them for outrageous purchases adding up to 685,000 pounds (over $1 million).

They have accused Lawson of using cocaine, marijuana and pills every day without Saatchi’s knowledge. Saatchi testified that he had never seen her abuse drugs, even though the allegations first surfaced in an email from him that leaked online.

Lawson said that the email was an attempt to put Saatchi in a better light after the restaurant photos surfaced. The claims are “dedicated to salvaging Mr. Saatchi's reputation and destroying mine,” she testified.

image: ABC


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