Nigella’s aides are ac­quit­ted of fraud

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

LON­DON: Two of Nigella Law­son and Charles Saatchi’s for­mer aides have been ac­quit­ted of de­fraud­ing the celebrity cou­ple of nearly £700 000 (R11.9 mil­lion).

This fol­lows a three­week trial in which the court heard as­ton­ish­ing al­le­ga­tions that Law­son snorted co­caine and smoked cannabis.

Ital­ian sis­ters Elis­a­betta and Francesca Grillo used com­pany credit cards to spend the money on items for them­selves, in­clud­ing de­signer shoes and clothes, the court was told.

The court heard that they went on a “shop un­til you drop” trip to New York, stayed at the Ritz Ho­tel in Paris and spent thou­sands of pounds on de­signer clothes.

They main­tained that the spend­ing had been au­tho­rised.

Elis­a­betta, 41, was taken ill on Thurs­day and an am­bu­lance was called to the court while the jury was de­lib­er­at­ing.

She was suf­fer­ing from panic at­tacks and high blood pres­sure as the jury de­lib­er­ated and was seen ap­par­ently col­laps­ing in the court re­cep­tion area.

When the panel was sent out again yes­ter­day the sis­ters were not in the dock. Judge Robin John­son ex­plained that one of them was un­well be­cause a crim­i­nal trial was stress­ful.

Dur­ing the case, Law­son dra­mat­i­cally re­vealed that she had smoked cannabis in front of her chil­dren and snorted co­caine.

The TV celebrity cook, 53, told the court she had turned to co­caine in 2010 af­ter be­ing sub­jected to “in­ti­mate ter­ror­ism” by Charles Saatchi.

She also ad­mit­ted snort­ing the drug six times while mar­ried to her late hus­band John Di­a­mond, who died from throat can­cer in 2001.

She de­nied claims by the Grillo sis­ters that she had taken drugs reg­u­larly over the last 10 years.

Saatchi and Law­son di­vorced ear­lier this year. Law­son says she is happy to move on with her life. – Daily Mail

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.