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Blow to domestic goddess as cocaine allegations surface

Allegations that Nigella Lawson used cocaine and prescription drugs on a habitual basis have emerged in court today after the trial judge lifted a reporting restriction.

Lawson’s former personal assistants Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo are accused of fraud by Charles Saatchi, Lawson’s former husband. The court heard, in pre-trial hearings, evidence for the defence which apparently shows that Saatchi accepts the Grillo sisters’ argument that Lawson had allowed them to spend more than £300,000 on the proviso that they did not divulge details of her drug use to him. The judge read out part of an email that Saatchi wrote during the prelude to the trial: ‘Of course now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you were so off your head on drugs you allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked … And yes I believe every word they have said.’

Prosecuting counsel, Jane Carpenter QC, said that the allegations of drug use were ‘totally scurrilous’, and added that the Grillo sisters made the allegations in September 2013, more than a year after submitting their original witness statements on 2 August 2012. She also argued: ‘By this time, the defendants had already admitted their responsibility to the allegations – not least in a letter the sisters sent to Miss Lawson and Mr Saatchi’, and went on to read out the letter in question.

Rumours of Lawson’s alleged drug use have circulated ever since her marital split from Saatchi following the publication of photographs that showed him appearing to grip her throat.

The case continues.

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