Nigella Lawson admits cocaine use, was subjected to Saatchi’s ‘intimate terrorism’

Nigella Lawson

These are photos of Nigella Lawson heading into a London court yesterday to testify in the fraud case against her former assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo. We’ve heard that Nigella didn’t want the sisters to be sued by her ex-nightmare, Charles Saatchi. Certainly Nigella didn’t want to testify in the case either, but she had no choice.

By now the case has turned into the “stomp all over Nigella” public discussion. This is only my theory, but I feel like Saatchi convinced the sisters to defend themselves by turning on Nigella. They claim to have had free run with Saatchi’s credit cards because Nigella wanted their silence about her supposed coke addiction. Saatchi has been playing the “heartbroken” card. But look at Nigella swooping into the courtroom like a boss. She looks tired but in control.

Nigella testified for a full seven hours yesterday, which sounds terribly exhausting. She admits to using cocaine “two times in her life.” She says Saatchi’s “intimate terrorism” drove her to use coke (once) and smoke pot (several times). She believes Saatchi is trying to destroy her reputation after she failed to defend him for choking her. Nigella also claims Saatchi often “shouted and swore” at her and has subjected her to a “long summer of bullying and abuse” since their split. The intimate terrorism sounds awful, doesn’t it? Sort of like Saatchi was a bug that crawled under her skin. Here’s the courtroom lowdown:

Nigella Lawson was yesterday forced into a dramatic courtroom confession of drug-taking. Giving evidence to a packed but silent chamber, the TV cook said she had snorted cocaine and had even smoked cannabis in front of her children. But she said she needed the drugs to cope with the death of her first husband, John Diamond, and the “intimate terrorism” of her second, Charles Saatchi.

During seven hours of testimony, Miss Lawson, 53, was asked: “Are you or have you ever been a user of cocaine?” She replied: “I have never been a drug addict. I have never been a habitual user. But there were times in my life when I used cocaine.”

She said she had used cannabis this year to deal with a “summer of abuse.” As well as smoking joints in front of the children, Miss Lawson said she used cannabis to help her sleep. But she repeatedly denied ever being “off her head” with drugs.

Miss Lawson complained from the witness box that she felt as if she was on trial herself — the victim of a “witch hunt” orchestrated by her ex-husband following the throat-grabbing episode that drove them to divorce this summer.

The chef told the jury that taking cocaine with her late husband John Diamond, who died in 2001, “gave him some escape” from his illness. Miss Lawson said at the time she was responsible for looking after him and the family as well as earning a living. She said: “I did speak to a doctor of palliative care because I was troubled about whether I should let John continue, and he said just let him. And so I didn’t judge or begrudge.”

But she said claims that credit cards and envelopes containing white powder were left around the home she shared with Mr Diamond were “completely false.” She admitted that her former husband used rolled-up notes to take the drug. “John did but he carefully ironed them out,” she said. “There is some misery you cannot escape.”

After her first husband’s death she did not take the drug again until 2010 when she claims she turned to it because she felt “isolated and in fear.” She added: “There was another time I took cocaine. In July 2010 I was having a very, very difficult time. I felt subjected to intimate terrorism by Mr Saatchi,” she said, before adding that at the time she felt ‘isolated and in fear of… just unhappy. The idea that I am a drug addict or habitual user of cocaine is absolutely ridiculous.”

After the second episode she said she went to see a doctor. “I concluded that I did not have a drug problem, I had a life problem, and I needed to attend to that and I did seek out a therapist.”

Miss Lawson said that she also “smoked the odd joint” during the final year of her marriage to Charles Saatchi. “I found it made an intolerable situation tolerable. It’s a false friend and not a good idea. I found the answer was in changing the situation and trying to create a tolerable situation for me and my family. I have to say, since freeing myself from a brilliant but brutal man, I’m now totally cannabis, cocaine, any drug-free.”

[From Daily Mail]

Nigella also revealed her side of what happened during the choking incident. Nigella says Saatchi was not checking her nose for coke. Instead, “Someone walked by with a very sweet baby in a stroller, and I said ‘I’m so looking forward to having grandchildren.’ And he grabbed me by the throat and said: ‘I’m the only person you should be concerned with – I’m the only person who should be giving you pleasure.’” Jesus.

It sounds like Saatchi was a jealous and abusive man while he was married to Nigella, and he continues in that same pattern after their marriage. She admits now that she was miserable for years with him. It took the humiliation of being choked in public for Nigella to finally leave Saatchi, but at least she’s out now. That’s all that matters.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson

Photos courtesy of WENN

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162 Responses to “Nigella Lawson admits cocaine use, was subjected to Saatchi’s ‘intimate terrorism’”

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  1. Yes, thank God she’s away from him now. Team Nigella

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      I take one look at Saatchi and completely forgive Nigella. He would probably drive me to serious escapism too.

      • Loulou says:

        It seems to me that Saatchi was pushing himself on the sisters and that it didn’t work with Lisa – who refused to live under the same roof – but it may have worked on her younger sister – who is the one who looks doped up. That would explain running up tabs buying up designer clothes, travelling in luxury etc etc. Now, they’re useful to help him destroy Nigella, after he called in the spending and charged them. He’s that type.

    • xboxsucks says:

      as she says:TEAM CUPCAKES :-)

    • Kate says:

      To bad she’s not an actress; I could see her as Wonder Woman

    • Katy says:

      There was a part where a lawyer said “…when you unfortunately separated from Mr. Saatchi” and Nigella interrupted him with “I wouldn’t say unfortunately.”

      I love you Nigella. You’re so awesome.

    • EnuffSaid says:

      Love, love, love Nigella…to go from a completely loving supportive husband in John Diamond to this shriveled up old narcisistic git I feel for her…also given all of the immediate family members she’s lost. Tragically in the end John couldn’t eat and her ex turd of a husband CHOSE not to eat her food!! His day is coming by his own hand. I miss watching her shows back when John was in them…She will PREVAIL !!!!

  2. An says:

    “…the TV cook said she had snorted cocaine and had even smoked cannabis in front of her children.”

    This is vile. No excuses.

    • Sarah says:

      wot? The kids in question are teenagers, and grass is not exactly crack or heroin.

      • springingforward says:

        Soooo did she snort cocaine and smoke marijuana in front of the kids? To everyone who is saying they are teenagers, according to her testimony this would have happened 3-4 years earlier.
        Regardless, it shows a lack of responsibility as children are readily influenced by the behavior model and choices their parents make. This is repeatedly shown in peer-reviewed studies before you flame me with your individual anecdotes that are supposed to apply to the general population.

    • OlyB says:

      Why is it vile? It’s not like she was choking her children.

      • Aussie girl says:

        I believe that she only smoked in front of her children, never snorted coke & her children are not really children more like young adults. If you think that is vile than that’s your choice but I disagree. I’m so glad she is away from that monster of a man. She has kept her silence and he has & still is trying to bring her down. Hold your head high and keep doing what your doing, I say.

    • eliza says:

      I guess it is ok the teenage kids were exposed to Saatchi’s abuse of their mother though?! I wonder what is more vile, seeing a parent smoke pot or seeing a parent physically and emotionally abused?

      • Jaded says:

        There’s nothing vile about smoking a doob in front of older children, not little kids. Her kids are in their late teens and are probably totally cool with it. Your comment is very intransigent, you cannot equate mental, emotional and physical abuse with a little recreational toke.

    • Harriet says:

      I can’t recall the “using it in front of her children” bit when I read the broadsheet papers and not the daily fail rag BUT I do think it is vile. From my point of view- I just think how incredibly immature to be doing dope and coke in your forties? I’m not trying to be naive and I know of multiple situations where it is the case but seriously. To not call yourself an addict but actively take drugs whilst being responsible not only for your own children but your step children?

      • cr says:

        I write this as someone who doesn’t smoke at all: not tobacco, not pot. But I know many, many many people forty and above who smoke pot, even in front of their teenage and adult children. And they’re not immature.
        And doing coke, even if it was really only two times, isn’t a ‘maturity’ issue.
        If the children were younger, I’d have an issue with it as well, whatever type of cigarette it was. But at the age they are, they can either hang around Mom while she smokes, or leave. And also tell her what they think of her smoking, if they choose to.

      • Harriet says:

        I have never touched a cigarette or any drug and don’t drink much. As I mentioned I know there are plenty of different scenarios people go through but for me, I’m trying to relate using my upbringing and I can’t. Then again my family don’t do tobacco or drugs but like their drink. :-/

      • Bodhi says:

        Marijuana has MANY documented medical benefits. I see absolutely no problem with people using it around their families under a doctor’s care

      • Nerd Alert says:

        Plenty of evidence suggests that alcohol is much more damaging than marijuana, and makes the user much more dangerous to others when using.

      • bluhare says:

        But it’s OK to drink yourself silly in front of them, right?

      • littlestar says:

        What Nerd Alert said – alcohol is way more damaging and dangerous than pot is. Pot still has this stigma that it’s some hard core drug. It’s not.

        So why is it socially acceptable to drink in front of your children, but smoking pot in front of them somehow makes a person a terrible parent?

      • Harriet says:

        I agree. Socially and culturally I had always been raised to believe drugs are worse than alcohol but I don’t necessarily believe that now. I don’t think I’m really bothered about using marijuana as much as I would be for shooting up cocaine?

      • Caroline says:

        Don’t be too judgemental on others.

      • gefeylich says:

        Are you in the employ of Saatchi and Saatchi? Just asking.

    • Cora says:

      I think it was odd sentence construction. I think it means she used cocaine as one issue, and then smoked cannabis in front of the children as a second issue. Not that she snorted the coke in front of the kids, too. If you read further down the article, it seems to clarify that she only smoked cannabis in front of the children. That doesn’t seem so bad to me, especially given they are teenagers.

    • Amy says:

      Life inside any relationship is hard to understand from outside of it and life inside an abusive one is a hell on earth that anyone lucky to get out of will probably have done several embarrassing things while in it to cope that they would never want to become public. Back off, Sister (or Brother). Team Nigella.

      • Montréalise says:

        She’s had two really, really bad situations to deal with – her first husband dying of cancer at a very young age, and then her second husband turned out to be an abusive control freak. She turned to drugs to help her cope and I think a lot of us have done something similar. Maybe it wasn’t coke or cannabis, maybe it was alcohol or prescription drugs – sometimes life is just so difficult you turn to something even though you know you shouldn’t.

      • LAK says:

        Montréalise – Her sister Thomasina died from cancer afew years ahead of her husband dying from cancer. Her abusive mother also finally succumbed to cancer so as she puts it, she had [has?] a life problem. It’s amazing what she’s accomplished inspite of all the bad things that surround her.

        BTW: i am so glad her brother went with her to court….he is the gentleman in grey in the pics above.

      • gefeylich says:

        Not to mention being regularly physically abused by her mother (who once broke her hand while beating Lawson’s brother). Lawson has had a tough life. I certainly do not judge her for self-medicating in view of what she’s been through. And as she appears to have held it together and had a successful career, I doubt the “drug abuse” has been all that extensive. If it had been, the UK tabloids would have been all over it long ago (remember – they’ve been listening into cell phone conversations even longer than the NSA).

        No, all this hysteria in the UK media over “NIGELLA DRUG ADDICT OMG” is very obviously well-orchestrated, Saatchi-mandated character assassination. Didn’t work, though. Saatchi still comes off as an abusive a-hole who just will NOT LET IT GO. Face it, dude – people still think YOU’RE the sick asshat, not your most recent ex-wife.

    • Cazzee says:

      You’re playing into his hands by having that reaction…

    • Jessiebes says:

      Maybe it wasn’t the wisest decision to use drugs on the odd occasion in front of your children. But I know many parents who drink themselves silly, all the time in front of their kids, which is far more damaging, yet somehow socially acceptable.

    • Twez says:

      If anything, seeing your mom smoke weed makes it less cool and attractive to kids.

    • An says:

      I find using an illegal substance in front of your teen children a horribly bad idea. Just my opinion.

      • Evelyn says:

        My relationship with my mom is better when she’s smoked a joint then when she’s drunk. If anything She’s showed me that you can use pot in a safe, responsible way, and it’s much harder to do that with alcohol. I almost never drink, and when I do, I maintain. I smoke marijuana pretty regularly, but I still hold down a good job and have a 4.0 GPA in college

    • gg says:

      Regardless of my personal preferences, I just find it refreshing that she is telling the truth, she denounces doing drugs and has quit, unlike so many celebs who lie their asses off, get caught, continue to lie and then get busted for being a liar. THAT, my dear is immature and vile.

    • Nina W says:

      I’m sorry but this comment is offensive and ignorant. There is nothing vile about pot smoking and I’m sick to death of the ridiculous and hypocritical stance people take about it. If you want to do some good for society get out there and do something about alcohol abuse otherwise shut the hell up! Do you know how many people DIE every year from alcohol use and alcohol related deaths? Somewhere in the hundreds of thousands range and do you know how many deaths are credited to marijuana use? That’s right, a big fat zero. Get a damn clue. Fine if you want to get on your stupid high horse but get your facts straight first. Demonize drug use all you want but be clear sighted about what the problems really are for our society. God, you’re ignorant!

      • Gorgonia says:

        Premise that I don’t use grass or other kind of drugs, I totally agree with you.
        The alcohol damages are utterly underestimate: unfortunately, I know people totally ruined by alcohol, while I know no one destroyed by marijuana.

  3. Londerland says:

    Ordinarily there’d be a bit of room for doubt in a break-up, a bit of sympathy for both sides, a bit of “he-said-she-said”, but not here. Saatchi’s own behaviour has shown what a bullying, self-absorbed control freak he is, so I have no problem just taking Nigella at her word. I hope she stays free of him.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I agree completely. The more he blames her for what he chose to do, the more he whines and tries to be the victim in this situation, the more I see him as a textbook case abuser and believe every word she says. I’m so happy she got away from him before he seriously injured or killed her, because I truly believe that’s where this was headed.

      • Denise says:

        He’s probably got narcissistic personality disorder or is a psychopath. Their egos will always trip them up because they undermine the intelligence of everyone around them, thinking they’re superior in every way. This loser can’t see how transparent his tactics are and what a fool he is making of himself, and that we’re all smarter than he is. Nigella’s only mistake was falling in love with a dangerous person.

    • Montréalise says:

      Totally agree. Remember when he publicly threatened to commit suicide unless she went back to him? Of course, she didn’t, and he didn’t, so it was just another control-freak attempt at manipulation.

  4. eliza says:

    I feel for her suffering his physical and emotional abuse. Just goes to show how difficult it truly is for women from all walks of life to escape their abusers. People often act like it should be easy to get away from abusive situations but it isn’t as easy as being abused and packing up and leaving for good. These men are crazy and often make it extremely frightening for one to take the first steps towards freedom and recovery.

    This entire situation is awful for her. So much of her personal life exposed when she is simply trying to deal with moving on in a positive direction with her life. Hopefully she now has the strength and support to move past this and live a physically and mentally healthier life.

    • Seapharris7 says:

      I’m glad someone brought all this into the public light or I fear she may have never left him. It’s almost like the Riri & CB situation, I’m sure she was public ally pressured to leave & thankfully so

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      It’s just incredible to me how she seems to be the one on trial here…smh…what a pig that guy is.

      • bluhare says:

        Classic tactic, though. Blame the victim.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Kitten, he’s a dick—I can’t believe he choked her because she talked about having some theoretical grandchildren. God. To be that focused on YOURSELF that you can’t even bear the *thought* of something or someone taking your wife’s attention off of you for one instant….

        And I’d bet that he at least tried to guilt her (or choke her) about quitting her cooking show–he’s getting up there in years. I bet in a few years, if she hadn’t left this douche, she’d be announcing that she was retiring from her show, to “care for her family and her personal life”.

        God. What a jackass.

      • VioletCrumble says:

        Yes, The Original Kitten – she is not the one on trial here. Everyone seems to have forgotten that this is a FRAUD trial against the two assistants, not a hearing for a 1950s divorce.

  5. Larissa says:

    #teamnigella the whole way. Love her.

  6. OlyB says:

    How atrocious that Saatchi is dragging Nigella through the mud. Her composure and honesty is commendable. Her drug use is completely unremarkable and in no way justifies Saatchi’s abuse. How very lucky she has been able to rid herself of such a horrible man.

  7. Tania says:

    That poor woman. I would not have put up with that psycho of a husband.

  8. Kiddo says:

    I knew a few chefs in the restaurant business and I’ve come to think that cocaine use is a hazard of the industry because of the late hours. I’m not saying that is good, or that all of them do it, but it does happen. Hopefully, she wasn’t doing coke around the kids.

    Still, I have no sympathy for her husband. It’s a ridiculous assertion that he was choking her as a heroic measure. Get real. This makes him look worse and completely deluded, that he thinks people would buy this shite.

    • Harriet says:

      She is not a chef though. She is a food writer and presenter with nothing to do with the restaurant industry.

      • Kiddo says:

        Oh, okay. I didn’t know if she got her start as a chef. I know very little about her, outside of CB. Some people do use coke recreationally without being habitualists. That is probably a hazard of having money.

      • Harriet says:

        Sorry! I didn’t mean to sound rude. She said she did Coke with her first husband- John Diamond- a journalist in the UK who was at the time dying of cancer. She did it with him because he found it to be a way to cope with what he was going through. I also realise as a food writer with a background in journalism she was in a industry rife with drug abuse

      • Kiddo says:

        I didn’t think you were rude.

    • LAK says:

      i hate the headline screams that she *did* cocaine in all media AS IF she was a regular user. She wasn’t. She admits she took it 7 times. in a 53yr long life. 6 of those times were with a dying husband who was taking it as some sort of distraction from the fact of his dying. She didn’t touch it for ten years until she was in distress from something that Saatchi did to her. So essentially self medicating to cope with whatever he did to her………but the headline reads like she was taking it all the time.

      And some readers aren’t reading the story properly or looking at the testimony to see the difference. Heck i wouldn’t even call her a habitual user and that’s not making excuses at all.

  9. Harriet says:

    When Nigella was first starting out people thought she was too posh for TV and they called in Satchi to change that image and make her the ‘domestic goddess’ (his invention!) so he made his wife and is now destroying her.

    • Badirene says:

      Well thats A-okay then, its not abuse if he created her image, cause he owns her then, right.

    • bluhare says:

      So what the lord giveth, the lord can take away. I’d say he did that before she left him. He took a LOT from her. So what if she smoked weed to cope. No different than sitting down with wineglass.

    • Jaded says:

      Saatchi didn’t “make” her image. He was a family friend for many years and helped her through the death of her first husband. She was fully established as a TV cooking show celebrity at that point, I remember seeing her first husband in the background on her shows before he died. She hasn’t changed her image at all over the years she’s been creating shows and writing books. She’s admitted that she needs to have a tight, close, supportive “family” of children, spouse and friends around her and Saatchi stepped in to help her with anxiety and eventually fill the spouse role. They were happy at first despite their differences.

      • Harriet says:

        I read he was asked to helped to make her more relatable to the tv audience but also that they were family friends. And yeah John Diamond is in the early shows. I think at the beginning of their marriage they were very happy for each other but he is obviously volatile

      • LAK says:

        Saatchi was one of her husband’s besties. For years they used to gather together for weekly meals. Saatchi was never on camera, but he was part of their circle for many, many years. Rumour has it that her husband hand-picked Saatchi to look after Nigella when he was dying. Their relationship started before he died. Saatchi’s ex wife Kay wrote a really scathing article about them implying their affair started before her husband died which really stuck in my brain. What Kay accused saatchi of ie being really cruel and vengeful is what we are seeing now.
        http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2002/sep/02/foodanddrink.shopping

        Given his brilliance in advertising, it’s not too far fetched to believe he offered his advise and or possibly came up with the ‘domestic goddess’ thing.

        On a different note, you could look at it from a different angle….Saatchi’s advertising firm was very cosy with the Tories and Thatcher and Nigella’s father was very close with Thatcher, so when she needed help with her business, her father could have introduced them.

      • Kellykat says:

        I remember this Jaded, also the info LAK gives here, Nigella and Charles were rumored to be involved before her first husband died, and she was very complimentary almost adoring of Charles in interviews at the time. She was asked about his manipulative, ruthless business personality and she responded with something about how exciting and desirable this made him to her. She was very attracted to Charles and in love and I believe she knew about his explosive temper and still married him. It’s not surprising that she would be attracted to and stay with an abuser, given her history with an abusive parent, that’s what she thought love was. I applaud her for being so honest about her personal and marital problems and for her attempts to get help for herself and her children, for getting away from her abuser.

  10. Aussie girl says:

    What I, for the life of me can not understand is what is that trinny doing hanging out with him?? Also i can’t believe the reason behind him choking her. To me that is most shocking thing in this sad story.

    • gg says:

      Trinny is either exposed as someone very needy and will take just about anyone, or else she needs some free marketing to rejuv her own image. Either way this makes her look really bad.

      • Montréalise says:

        I’m always surprised when women get involved with a man who is a known abuser. I’ve seen it happen with other celebrities – he beats up his wife/girlfriend, it’s widely reported together with pictures of her injuries, they break up – and the next thing you know, he’s got a new wife/girlfriend! I just can’t understand it. An abusive man is an abusive man, and it’s only a matter of time before he beats the new woman in his life.

      • telesma says:

        Montréalise, I think that very often when women go with a known abuser they convince themselves that THEY are different and those other bitches deserved what they got, that the abuser won’t abuse them because it’s true luuuurve. It’s not about the abuser, it’s about their own egos and neediness, the need to believe that they’re special, not like those other women.

    • sputnik says:

      trinny has suffered from eating disorders in the past. often this goes hand in hand with very low self esteem. that coupled with how charming i’m sure he can be…

      i’m not saying that has to be the reason, it’s just a theory, but it would maybe explain why she’s orbiting around this horrifying narcissist.

    • Jaded says:

      I know, it’s rich isn’t it – Saatchi calls Nigella out for alleged drug abuse, but Trinny Woodall was hugely addicted to coke, it nearly killed her.

      • gefeylich says:

        Now THAT I believe – that woman is an X-ray. Woodall looks exactly like a habitual coke user: skinny, dried-out and hungry.

        Up until about 1-2 years ago, Nigella was very zaftig, and even now that she’s thinner she’s still decidedly curvy. Her hair and skin are still beautiful. Not at all the picture of drug abuse – in fact, quite the opposite.

        Team Nigella. All this “drug abuse” stuff is bullocks cooked up by Saatchi.

  11. Lucy2 says:

    He’s a monster, and all his attempts to smear and discredit her only reinforce that point. He needs to just go away.

  12. feebee says:

    I imagine with all she put up with from Mr Saatchi it’s surprisingly she didn’t hit ‘something’ a lot harder, for a lot longer.

    On a lighter note, while totally understandable under the circumstances, it sounds a little weird hearing such a defensive vibe about the smoking of some pot. I guess I’m getting too used to stories where ‘entertainers’ almost brag about it. If anyone could claim they needed it to take the edge of a stressful week/month/summer it’s Nigella at the moment.

  13. BeckyR says:

    The trial is NOT about Nigella and any alleged drug use. It IS about two trusted employees who helped themselves to big bucks via the Saachi credit cards. Both of them need some jail time.

  14. Frida_K says:

    This is so ugly.

    There is a special place in hell for Charlie Sheen, Charles Saatchi, and Terrence Howard. I hope that they burn there for all eternity, together, and without a woman to abuse and only each other for company.

  15. Montréalise says:

    I’ve been following this story in the UK papers and there are so many more heartbreaking details. Nigella testified that Saatchi told her that if she didn’t go back to him he would destroy her – and shortly thereafter, all kinds of anonymous comments popped up in blogs, saying she was an drug addict. She also says she walked away from the marriage without any share of his assets – which she was legally entitled to – just to get away from him, but he wouldn’t let go. He reminds me of dog poo you inadvertently step into – no matter how hard you try to wipe it off, it just won’t go away, stench and all.

    • Gen says:

      Yes, I believe he’s on a path to destroy her. I hope (and expect) he’ll fail.

    • Lady D says:

      She needs to spend a year or 2 anywhere but Britain. It would be much harder for his attacks to harm her if she wasn’t around. I think it would also benefit her peace of mind. Ya, who am I kidding, he won’t be done with her until he decides he’s done. I wonder if he would follow her to the states? He seems to think he’s a big deal in the UK, I wonder how he would be received in the states or here?

      • LAK says:

        He IS a big deal in the UK.

        He is establishment. I can’t emphasise that enough. This is a man who helped elect Thatcher 3 times!!!!

      • Lady D says:

        Doesn’t bode well for Nigella. Here’s hoping she’s the one to bring him down.

      • gefeylich says:

        Saatchi and his buddy and former business associate Graydon Carter are cooking up a big “expose” (read: smear article) on Nigella in next month’s Vanity Fair. Yeah, even if she goes to the US to get away from him, he’ll find some way to get at her. He’s horrible.

  16. original kay says:

    It is terrible that her life is now on display for people to judge and comment on, especially because she is the victim here.

  17. L says:

    Nigella has clearly gone to some great therapy since the split. She really stood up for herself and called out Saatchi as being the abuser that he is. And got in at least one zinger in as well.
    One of the sisters’ lawyer) said:”When you unfortunately separated from Mr Saatchi…”
    Nigella interjected: “I wouldn’t say ‘unfortunately’.”

    Also, not to dance around heavy drug use but the times in her life when she used cocaine also make a difference. She wasn’t shirking life responsibilities and going on 72-hour benders ala Lohan. She was seeking escape with her spouse at the time who was *dying* of cancer the first time she says she used. The second time she claims she used while she was married to Saatchi. Both are extremely stressful circumstances at which it sounds like she was seeking a temporary escape.
    I remember reading John Diamond’s columns that he wrote as he was in the last year of his life and it was really awful – he was the one who encouraged Nigella to write her first cookbook, but by the time it was published he couldn’t eat solid food.

    • sputnik says:

      john diamond’s times columns were remarkable. he was a brilliant man. i don’t know if they’re available online but he did a couple of great interviews with ruby wax in the 90s.

      it’s great to see nigella so in control now. it can be hard to free yourself of abusive men like saatchi. sometimes it’s even hard to acknowledge they are abusive.

  18. davidbowie says:

    This story makes me all kinds of sad. Team Nigella

  19. Ninks says:

    Team Nigella.

  20. NerdMomma says:

    I’m following this story, but it’s so embarrassing to me that it’s being made public. This is just a nasty divorce that one party, Saatchi, has managed to turn into a public trial of the wife who left him. Every awful abusive husband’s dream. I don’t care what mistakes Nigella may have made over the last 10 years. We’ve all made mistakes. She doesn’t need our forgiveness or understanding- she has a right to make mistakes without any of us passing judgement. I really feel for her and her kids. This must be a really hard time. It’ll pass though.

    • Cazzee says:

      Totally agree. Team Nigella.

    • K says:

      Completely agree. Thank you.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I agree. This is just a ploy to drag HER name through the mud for embarassing HIM, when she left. Such a douche.

    • VioletCrumble says:

      Except that this is not a divorce hearing, NerdMomma. This is a FRAUD trial against the two assistants, the Grillo sisters. This is what makes reading the testimony so heart wrenching; her life is being dragged through the mud by an abusive, controlling bastard, in an effort to denigrate her and paint himself as the lily-white victim. He needs a sound flogging.

  21. ojulia123 says:

    My comment should be the only one you read! My comment should be the only one that holds your interest! Mine, mine!!
    ::grabs your nose::

    Being married to Saatchi sounds like being trapped in a nightmare. I feel so terrible for Nigella.

  22. yeahright says:

    The point is all of this is irrelevant to what happened. That’s sick. She is being dragged through the mud but thankfully its not working. The public still loves her.

  23. Christine says:

    I love her more now. #teamNigella!

  24. wtf says:

    Just in case she reads the gossip sites; Keep your head up Nigella. This bullsh*t too shall pass. And if it matters to you at all, you have been a picture of dignity through this whole mess.

  25. mkyarwood says:

    I don’t know if anyone read the account of what Saatchi was saying to her during the restaurant choke out.. there was a Daily Mail live feed (I avoided looking at it) that Michael K over at Dlisted summarized. She spotted a mother with her baby in a stroller, and mentioned how excited she would be to have grandbabies. He seized her by the neck and told her she should only be focused on him right now, that right now HE should be the only one giving her pleasure. o.0

  26. SuSu says:

    she says he was not checking her nose for coke? And what is he doing here:

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00425/130589834__425654c.jpg

    searching for boogers???

    • Jaded says:

      He’s being an abusive prick. Period. The voyeuristic public can make what they want out of these horrible, intrusive photos but at the end of the day, he’s a monster out for revenge, any kind of revenge to take her down.

    • Evi says:

      I don’t think he was searching for cocaine per se, but I do think he completely lost it as at that point in time they were both aware of this looming legal case against him/her about the credit cards and they certainly knew about the drug allegations, and he probably got really angry and decided to humiliate Nigella, saying something along the lines of ‘have you just snorted coke or do you snort regularly,’ and tweaked her nostrils for the sheer humiliation, like some type of psycho parent.
      At the end of it all, Nigellal married him largely for the fact of who he was and how much money he had. It’s no secret that he reinvented her image, for her to do all the nauseating ‘sexy’ moves/innuendos in the kitchen for her TV shows.
      I don’t believe that he got angry and said that she had to only give him pleasure, at the restaurant/scene. I think it has more to do with this case. It takes quite a few months, maybe a year, to put such a case together, because you need to go through all the financials, hire a few forensic accountants to go through it all, etc.
      It’s not an overnight thing, as the media and Nigella and Saatchi would like us all to believe.
      As for whether he is habitually abusive? That is open to debate. There isn’t much corroborative evidence to establish that.

      • gefeylich says:

        Nah, no corroborative evidence, just the photos of him with his hand around her throat.

        They’re divorced. She left without a penny from him. That should be the end of it, but Mr. Saatchi refuses to let it go.

        Team Nigella.

      • Vilodemeanus says:

        I think if you could choke someone for 30 minutes in public, which was verified by the photos taken during the entire assault, what do you think he was doing to the family and Nigella in the privacy of their home? People have witnessed him verbally attacking other times on the street, it’s very well documented. The theft case started almost 2 years ago, the women admitted stealing money using the cards, they were negotiating moving into the Saatchi home, giving up the paid for apt and working until they had paid off what they had stolen, that’s already been testified to in court by the accounting firm. After a time both women told their attorneys ‘ there was no way they could live with Saatchi, making almost no money for years and have no relief, jail seemed preferable to them.
        Nigella was abused emotionally, which has been witnessed, he took no part in any of her family time. While he may not have walked down the street beating her with a rolled up newspaper, he had no compunction about choking her in public for a half an hour, which to me says he’s pretty used to doing this type of thing to her in private and he lost control. No drugs were mentioned until about 2 months ago by Saatchi, the defense and the two women never brought it up in over a year. That’s highly suspicious considering now it’s their main defense because they’d already admitted to stealing. Only a person who would want to see Nigella prosecuted would believe she has any fault in any of this. What kind of accountant raises card limits instead of finding out why almost a million more was spent by several PA’s who had access to the cards? She’s worth 30 million dollars, she certainly could have bought all the drugs she wanted without letting anyone know what she was spending instead of bringing in accounting firms, he husbands business affairs officers and whoever else. Why not just go to the bank and take out 30k of your own money and get a safe? See his story makes no sense, and is lies, the two women are trying to stay out of jail and not have to pay anything back, and Saatchi could care less about the money as he only wants to publicly humiliate Nigella and ruin her, which is what he stated in the email and is a classic abuser action. As for the pass, she had to ask permission to go out with friends, which he called a pass, like you get in jail. She was basically a prisoner who as a professional hostess was only allowed to have one dinner party with guests a year at her own home. You tell me again who was the abuser in this relationship? She’s been mistreated for years, I think due to extreme grief. Now she’s free and it’s killing Saatchi.

  27. Renee says:

    I was dismayed after learning of the extent of the abuse that she was subjected to while living with Saatchi but was so heartened to hear her remarks stating so clearly that she was abused and that he was trying to still harm her now that they are no longer together. And by that I mean that I was happy that she didn’t speak sympathetically about him and stood up for herself by so refraining from sugarcoating his behavior towards her and clarifying what happened at that restaurant. Now the world knows in no uncertain terms what happened on that day. I am so glad that she left him.

  28. Ice Maiden says:

    Nigella looks gorgeous but has she had lip ‘enhancement’ work done?

  29. Zigggy says:

    What a nightmare- I’m so glad she’s out. Whether she used coke or not, nobody deserves that emotional or physical battery.

  30. Tig says:

    I am so delighted that this creep evidently well thought out plan is blowing up in his face. He is beyond clueless if he thought this would “vindicate” him. And other than humiliating- or trying to- Nigella, what is the point of this trial? Restitution clearly is out of the question, so are these girls rolling the dice to avoid a jail sentence?

    • bluhare says:

      He’s a classic example of fools represent themselves. He cofounded a huge ad agency, and he should have hired independent PR people if he wanted to try to look good coming out of this. Instead, he’s hoisting himself with his own petard.

  31. Abbicci says:

    I love her.LOVE HER!

    I think some people on my gift list this year will be getting some Nigella books. I am so glad she was able to find the support and strength she needed to get away from that monster. Abusive relationships are a nightmare and not as easy to walk away from as many people think.

    This might be a great way to talk to our daughters, nieces and other woman about what the signs of an abusive relationship are.

    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

    • Anon says:

      Thanks for posting I am going to print it. I have a teenaged granddaughter who should be informed (ounce of prevention) of course we have talked to her over the years about this and other women’s issues, but its good to see it in black and white. its hard to know who is being abused unless its obvious because the victim may hide the abuse because of shame. That abuse is still so prevalent saddens me.

      • Abbicci says:

        And the fact kids are connected 24/7 with texting, facebook and other social media it makes it harder and harder for the kids to see it. It is a conversation we need to have with all our children. And more than once.

        I am grateful you are concerned and taking the right steps. I wish every kid had a grandparent like you.

    • bluhare says:

      I’m surprised more people aren’t wondering about Kim Kardashian. She’s changed tremendously since she’s been with him and does everything he says. Because she wants to, she says. Right.

      • Abbicci says:

        I think Kim was in an abusive relationship with her mother. I think she is just go happy to be out of her mother’s clutches .What the deal is with her and Kanye, who knows. Maybe they love each other, maybe he’s a bit genius crazy. Anything is possible, and she does seem to have strong relationships with her sisters so if anything is wrong I would hope they would help her.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Kim does have that thousand yard stare, bluehare. It makes me wonder, but I hope she’s *just* unhappy instead of abused in any way.

        THANK YOU, Abbicci for publishing this link! I bookmarked it. Too many women are belittled and controlled; this is a great resource on how to be supportive and yet still refrain from giving unwanted advice.

  32. Dimebox says:

    “Intimate terrorism”? That term tells me all I need to know about being married to Charles Saatchi. I would never be judgmental about whatever Nigella had to do to survive him. Happily, she now looks strong and gorgeous and attempts to make her the focus of the trial just make her more sympathetic.

  33. Mrs. Darcy says:

    I bet her leftovers are amaaazing stoned. Seriously Team Nigella all the way though. Saatchi is a cretin lashing out because it’s all he has left to try to hurt her.

  34. Kloops says:

    I really disliked her cooking persona, but in this situation I am totally Team Nigella. Even if she’s a raging addict (I have no idea) she doesn’t deserve to be abused.

  35. Palermo says:

    She is well rid of him.

  36. Twez says:

    I have never been more grateful for my civilised, though still painful, divorce.

  37. Green is Good says:

    This poor woman. Being dragged into this shit by her psycho-ex. He’s a bastard.

    Stay strong Nigella!

  38. Kathryn says:

    Nigella looks amazing, I hope I look like her when I’m 56!

    As well as losing her husband she also lost her mum and sister to cancer within a few years, I really feel for her.

  39. Green Eggs and Ham says:

    Husband = Bad
    Wife = Good

    No matter what the circumstances; I hope the marriage rate keeps on shrinking.
    Tranquility reigns. Meanwhile arrested development will move forward with no damaged offspring.

  40. Meggin says:

    She looks amazing, especially for her age.

  41. jferber says:

    She looks amazing for ANY age. Gorgeous woman. Stay strong, honey. It can only get better.

  42. Evi says:

    What a farce of a case. It is ridiculous to think that both assistants are charged with fraud, when they were handed the credit cards. Fraud is obtaining a financial advantage without the permission of the person. When you hand over a credit card with, what it seems, no limit, then what are you [Saatchi/Lawson] saying? You’re saying that it is okay to use that credit card.
    I don’t buy the stories that Saatchi and Lawson had no idea of what was being spent. If their accountants knew, so would they, but one person decided to keep it quiet, i.e. Nigella.
    As for the BS about their argument not being related to all this, that is BS. It takes a while to put a case together. Certainly more than a month.
    I don’t feel sorry for Nigella. She made her bed when she decided to marry for money.

    • gefeylich says:

      Dude, she comes from money and made a lot more on her own. She didn’t need Saatchi’s money nor did she take any of it after the divorce. This “trial” is just Saatchi’s sneaky attempt to humiliate his ex for daring to leave him. The amount of money these two women stole is a minuscule drop in the bucket to Saatchi, who is a billionaire. No, “bringing them to trial” was just another way for him to smear Nigella. Didn’t work though, no matter how many tabloid covers he bought.

    • Badirene says:

      The accountant has already given evidence that he increased the limits on the cards many times without informing Saatchi (the credit cards were his company credit cards), he said that he did not want to bother Saatchi with minute details. In my opinion he should be investigated aswell, something ain’t right here at all.

      • VioletCrumble says:

        Thank you , Badirene, I should also have mentioned this.
        V V V

      • gefeylich says:

        What “ain’t right” is that this trial has been turned into a circus designed to bring down Nigella. Does anyone really think Saatchi is bothered by the loss of a hundred thousand pounds? As he’s a gajillionaire, losing this relatively minuscule amount of money (which will be repaid by the credit card company anyway!) means nothing, except as a handy way to humiliate his ex-wife in public.

        Too bad it didn’t work. Team Nigella.

    • VioletCrumble says:

      Evi, I don’t believe she married for money. At the time when they married, I believe she truly loved him. Besides, she is wealthy in her own right.

      When people have assistants, the assistants often have access to the employers’ credit cards to purchase certain items. For all we know, there may have been many legitimate expenses accrued on the credit cards, over which there is no dispute. The fraud charges have likely arisen from unexplained spending. This is fairly easy for a fraudster to disguise for some time. Even with a forensic accountant going through each item on a statement, we don’t yet know what explanations these particular assistants have given. Questions will most certainly have been asked of them, though. So far, the problem is that their defense has been to blacken Nigella’s character, with the willing assistance of Saatchi, the very person they allegedly defrauded. None of us yet knows exactly what was or what was not found by forensic accountants. It is unhelpful and unfair to jump to conclusions, particularly about Nigella “keeping things quiet”, especially since, from what has been reported, the alleged fraud concerned Saatchi’s business accounts. I doubt Nigella had control of those.

      Let’s just wait and see what is revealed when we get to the nitty-gritty of the fraud allegations rather than making premature conclusions, when so far, Nigella’s and Saatchi’s personal issues are what is consuming everyone.

    • connie says:

      “When you hand over a credit card, with what it seems is no limit, what are you saying?”

      Uh, what you’re saying is use this card for business purposes, NOT here’s free money, help yourself to whatever you want!!!

  43. Thinker says:

    We have visual evidence Nigella was in an abusive marriage. Although she still thinks highly of her ex, I don’t think he deserves even the slightest respect. I think Nigella has conducted herself wonderfully under the circumstances. She deserves support, and not criticism from her fellow women.

  44. Nan says:

    Bit of side-note but doesn’t “I’m the only person you should be concerned with – I’m the only person who should be giving you pleasure.’” sound like line from a Fifty Shades of whatever?

  45. Apples says:

    I am a Food Network/Cooking Channel disciple. I am her target market and these “revelations” have zero effect on me watching or enjoying her show.

    This info on a child of the 1960′s doing some recreational drugs is really not that shocking. Her persona was always really relaxed and non-judgemental. It’s not like someone who always purported herself to be perfect was caught in a scandal. Nigella has a personality that would just shrug off other people’s peccadilloes, so, I don’t think this will destroy her reputation.

    p.s. The flour-less cake recipe that aired a few weeks ago (the one she just dumped all the whipped cream on top of) is AMAZING!! I just made it and people LOVED it.
    http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/chocolate-cloud-cake-170

  46. CB lurker says:

    Everyone should read this about her first husband:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/08/nigella-lawson-john-diamond

    I read his columns as a teenager, and have never forgotten them. He was amazing – but probably not well known in the US, so hopefully this provides some context.

  47. Vilodemeanus says:

    The email he sent her, taunting her about her supposed drug use is just a horrible missive, a text book out of control narcissistic terror of a man who gleefully abused her and enjoyed it. I can only imagine how bad the last year was and of course she was going to be spending more time in America with the new food show, something else that he was abusing her for doing. He hated being Mr Nigella bites, and in the end that may be what he is best known for – being her ex and not the great art collector but the wife beating verbal abuser. This isn’t going to hurt her and I think most people are going to root for her success because she’s a good person who’s survived more nightmares than most people, and hopefully Saatchi is the last nightmare so she can be free and happy. He’s just the biggest douchnozzle of all time.