The TV chef’s former assistants allege Lawson abused drugs for years without her then-husband Charles Saatchi’s knowledge, and approved their spending more than $480,000 on his credit card in exchange for their silence.
Television chef Nigella Lawson allegedly cooked up a scheme allowing her assistants to steal money from her ex-husband — as long as they didn’t spill the beans about her wild drug habits.
The 53-year-old British celebrity allegedly had an insatiable appetite for cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills, using the drugs every day for more than a decade while she was married to tycoon Charles Saatchi.
The claims emerged in a London courthouse during the trial of her assistants, Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo.
The bombshell accusations — which Saatchi said he believes — could throw Lawson and her career into a tailspin. In light of the allegations, ABC executives are mulling whether to invite Lawson back for a third season as a judge on “The Taste,” a competitive reality cooking show, sources told the Daily News.
The upcoming season of the show, which also features chef personality Anthony Bourdain, is already filmed and set to air Jan. 2, an ABC rep said, declining further comment.
The sisters were charged with filching more than $480,000 of Saatchi’s money to blow on lavish vacations, designer handbags and other luxuries. According to the defense, the pair, who served as Lawson’s “kitchen confidantes” for more than 10 years, had an “understanding” with the gourmet to keep quiet about her drug binges.
“The defendants will maintain that they were fully aware of her illicit drug use and she essentially would consent to their expenditure on the understanding that there would be no disclosure to her husband of her usage,” a lawyer for Grillo, 32, said in court.
Saatchi dubbed his ex — they went through a bitter divorce in July — “Highgella,” after he learned of her illicit ingredients of choice, telling her in an email that she was “so off her head on drugs.”
The judge on Tuesday lifted an order preventing claims made in pretrial proceedings from being public, and read Saatchi’s email, sent to Lawson Oct. 10, aloud in court.
“Now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you were off your head on drugs and you allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked, and yes, I believe every word the Grillos said,” Saatchi wrote in the angry missive.
Lawson’s legal team dismissed the drug allegations against the so-called domestic goddess as “totally scurrilous” and untrue, adding that the timing of the sordid revelations “is no coincidence at all” after her headline-grabbing divorce drama. Article Link…