Christ­mas with Nigella not as ‘per­fect’ as on TV show

Sis­ters dish up the dirt on Law­son

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PEOPLE -

LON­DON: On screen and in the pages of her best-sell­ing books, Nigella Law­son pro­fesses to spend hours cook­ing up the per­fect Christ­mas, bak­ing home-made fes­tive treats for fam­ily and friends.

But the re­al­ity was very dif­fer­ent from her “brand”, her for­mer house­keep­ers have claimed.

She never made a mince pie and even al­lowed cater­ers to cook the Christ­mas lunch, ac­cord­ing to Elis­a­betta and Francesca Grillo.

They said the Do­mes­tic God­dess hired a team to dec­o­rate her Christ­mas tree, and re-used cookie dec­o­ra­tions.

The Ital­ian sis­ters were last week cleared of £ 695 000 ( R11.9m) credit card fraud against Law­son, 53, and her for­mer hus­band, Charles Saatchi, 70. They said that in­stead of cook­ing fam­ily meals, she left it to them to make her chil­dren’s food and then hired a chef to do all the cook­ing.

Francesca Grillo, 35, said: “Christ­mas wasn’t as per­fect as on her cook­ing show. I never saw her make a mince pie or Yule log at home. She might have made a pud­ding once.

“We’d have a tree de­liv­ered then Nigella got a team to dec­o­rate it rather than do it with the kids.

“One year she made cook­ies that were hung on the tree with rib­bons. They were put in a drawer and used year af­ter year. She never made fresh ones.”

The sis­ters, whose trial at Isle­worth Crown Court laid bare the glam­orous Law­son’s al­leged se­cret drug abuse, dis­as­trous mar­riage and chaotic life­style, said she was happy to “slob” around the house in track­suits or an “old granny” dress­ing gown.

Law­son ad­mit­ted in a re­cent in­ter­view to be­ing “ter­ri­bly lazy”, and Elis­a­betta said: “She wasn’t al­ways this glam­orous god­dess. At 5pm she’d strip off and just wear a dress­ing gown – not a sexy, silky one like on her TV shows; it was an old granny gown.”

In 2011 Law­son hired a chef named Elio to help out while she re­cov­ered from an op­er­a­tion. “I cooked for the chil­dren and as they got older they’d make mi­crowave meals, pot noo­dles and or­der take­aways,” Elis­a­betta added.

“Charles was picky, so Elio stayed on do­ing par­ties and hol­i­days for a long time. I think Charles pre­ferred his meals to his wife’s.”

Law­son, who was di­vorced from Saatchi in July, claimed he used the court case to “de­stroy” her rep­u­ta­tion.

She also hit out at her “ma­li­cious” treat­ment in the wit­ness box. Over two days of ev­i­dence, she was forced to deny she was a drug ad­dict af­ter con­fess­ing to hav­ing snorted co­caine and smoked cannabis.

Her for­mer as­sis­tants, who ad­mit­ted lav­ish­ing huge amounts of her money on them­selves, said Law­son let them spend what they liked in re­turn for keep­ing her al­leged drug use a se­cret from her “shouty” hus­band.

Law­son cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied she was a ha­bit­ual drug user, but the trial has dented her whole­some im­age. On Christ­mas Eve Law­son tweeted a pic­ture of her ta­ble cov­ered in red cloths and yes­ter­day her spokesman claimed she was host­ing 30 peo­ple for Christ­mas din­ner.

In her book Nigella’s Christ­mas, she said she spent a “bru­tal” five-and-a-half hours cook­ing up the per­fect tur­key, with trim­mings such as but­ter­nut or­zotto, panet­tone and Ital­ian sausage stuff­ing.

But Francesca added: “She would make lots of money with her shows and books at Christ­mas, but some­one else of­ten made the din­ner. Re­mem­ber, she was just a brand. Real life was dif­fer­ent.” – Daily Mail

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

BRANDED: Nigella Law­son was a ‘slob’, her ex-house­keep­ers told a UK court.

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

CLEARED: Francesca, left, and Elis­a­betta Grillo ar­rive at Isle­worth Crown Court in west Lon­don.

THE TRUTH: Rus­sell Brand should take a closer look.

THREADS: Jeremy Clark­son has need of new clothes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.