The Guardian reported today that famed TV cook and author Nigella Lawson admitted to drug use under oath as she testified in the trial of two former personal assistants charged with defrauding her and her ex-husband. She described the past drug use as only infrequent, and as a foolish decision based on the extreme pressures in her life at the time.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson’s testimony

“I have never been a drug addict,” Lawson testified in Isleworth crown court in London. “I have never been a habitual user [of cocaine]. There were two times in my life that I have used cocaine.”

She went on to say that the first she used the drug was when her then husband, John Diamond, discovered that he had terminal cancer. She took the drug as an “escape” and that she had joined him in taking the drug even though she knew she had to take care of him and their children and earn a living for the family.

Nigella Lawson went on to say the second time she did cocaine was more than three years ago. “There was another time, in July of 2010, when I was going through a very, very difficult time,” she testified. “I felt – how can I put this – subjected to intimate terrorism by Mr. Saatchi. I felt totally isolated, in fear and just unhappy.”

She continued to say a friend of hers had offered her some cocaine and she had snorted it, only to find it “completely spooked” her. She went on testifying she had immediately told her doctor – and saying he would agree that she could not in any way be described as a drug addict or habitual user.

Nigella Lawson also testified that she smoked cannabis in the last year of her marriage to Saatchi. “I have to be honest, I have smoked the odd joint,” she said. “I found it made an intolerable situation tolerable.” She also testified she had stopped using all drugs.

Team Cupcake

According to Nigella Lawson, her assistants like to be called “Team Cupcake”. Lawson’s assistants are accused of defrauding her by making many thousands of dollars of unauthorized purchases.

Nigella Lawson also testified she bought shoes, clothes and spa treatments for Elisabetta Grillo, and she bought Grillo’s sister, Francesca, a £900 membership to Shoreditch House private club in London. Later, Lawson testified regarding unauthorized purchases at Miu Miu, Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel, the Cipriani in Venice and the Berkeley hotel in London.

Attorneys for Elisabetta Grillo and her sister, Francesca, argue Lawson permitted them to charge on Saatchi’s account because they knew she was a drug user, and Lawson did not want the Grillos to spill this “guilty secret”.