Back in June, we blogged about the very public argument between Nigella Lawson and husband of 10 years Charles Saatchi that prompted domestic abuse concerns. Since then, the marriage has ended spectacularly in front of the media and now the popular chef has been accused of drug abuse.
The allegations have been made by Italian sisters, Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo who worked as personal assistants to the couple in their London home. The sisters have been accused of defrauding the couple of over £300,000 while they worked for them. According to the sisters however, they say they had a verbal agreement with Nigella.
The understanding stated that the Grillo sisters could use Mr Saatchi’s company credit card for personal use in return for keeping quiet about her drug use. The sisters say Nigella was taking class A and class B drugs (namely cocaine and cannabis) as well as many different types of prescription drugs. Nigella allegedly wanted to keep this habit from her husband.
The claims were made public this week after Judge Robin Johnson decided they were admissible in court. An email sent to Nigella from Charles Saatchi said she was so ‘off her head on drugs’ that she failed to monitor the sister’s spending patterns. He also said that the sisters would ‘of course’ get off and that he believed every word they said.
Mr Saatchi told the judge the following in regards to the email,
“At the time of sending the email I was completely astounded by the scale of drug use set out in the statements [from the defendants]. Nevertheless I did believe the allegations that I’m referring to in my email.”
Nigella has dealt with a great deal of tragedy in her life, including a problematic childhood, the deaths of her mother, sister and previous husband as well as her current traumatic marriage with Charles Saatchi. It has been reported in the past that Nigella is prone to bouts of depression and for some, the news that she may have a drug problem will sound all too familiar.
While the majority of us are fortunate in that our personal lives aren’t discussed in the media – there are plenty of us who can relate to the issues Nigella is experiencing. If you are concerned about a drug habit, seeking help early is key. To find out how counselling could help you, please see our drug abuse page.