No one ever choked someone out of their drug habit, so the report that Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi‘s physical and very public fight last June may have been about the celebrity chef’s alleged drug use doesn’t excuse Saatchi of resorting to violence. Not one bit. It does, however, add to the ugliness of the already ugly tale of the couple’s split.
Nigella filed for divorce in late July, just weeks after cameras caught her husband with his hand around her throat on the terrace of an upscale London restaurant. Her application was granted immediately and the couple’s decade-long marriage was officially dissolved in mid-September. Lawson and Saatchi agreed to keep the details of their parting private, but a joint lawsuit they’ve filed against two former assistants has unexpectedly dragged some of Nigella’s allegedly unclean laundry into the limelight once again.
The two women the chef once referred to as her “kitchen confidantes” are accused of bilking Lawson and Saatchi out of half a million dollars. Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, say lawyers for the prosecution, abused their privileges with Lawson’s corporate credit cards, racking up charges for high-end personal items unrelated to their jobs. The twist? The Grillos say they had permission to overspend – a deal they may have worked out with their boss in exchange for keeping quiet about her drug habit (or habits, as it were).
The allegations are that Nigella abused prescription pills, smoked pot, and used cocaine. She’s said to have taken drugs on a daily basis for the entire duration of her marriage to Saatchi, who reportedly was completely unaware of her habit until earlier this year
While unproven, the accusations certainly don’t bode well for Lawson and Saatchi’s fraud case. “It is our submission the row that what happened, resulting in Mr. Saatchi assaulting Nigella, may well have had something to do with Nigella taking drugs and may well have had something to do with the issue before this court,” argued the Grillos’ defense attorney in court yesterday.
In an email submitted as evidence, Saatchi refers to his ex as “Higella” and expresses his concerns about her “poisoning” her teenage daughter. It’s pretty ugly stuff – and it’s bound to get worse as the case plays out. Maybe we should all look away now?