Nigella Lawson Reportedly Not Allowed in the U.S. Because of Drug Use

In new reports that may or may not be true, the Daily Mail says that Nigella Lawson attempted to go on vacation Sunday but was barred at the airport because of her recently admitted past drug use. Hmmm.

The Mail reports that Lawson made it all the way through at least one security checkpoint before being told to leave:

Miss Lawson arrived alone at Heathrow's Terminal Five on Sunday morning to catch a direct British Airways flight to LA.

She is thought to have checked in and passed security before being told she could not board her plane. She had to return to the first class check-in to arrange to collect her hold luggage.

'She didn't seem to say much, but she did not look happy,' said an onlooker. 'She could not get on the flight so she had to turn around and leave.'

The Mail doesn't have details about exactly how or when Lawson was told she couldn't get on her flight and Lawson's people have issued a "no comment" to multiple outlets reporting on this story. Lawson did tweet over the weekend that she would be "offline" for awhile on "a holiday break," so at least reports that she was actually leaving the country are true. It's possible that Los Angeles wasn't her final destination, though she definitely was headed somewhere warm, as this tweet with a picture of a sun hat and the caption "Packing for my holiday!" indicates.

Lawson has visited the U.S. since admitting in court that she had used drugs, but that doesn't mean much: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reserves the right to reject someone traveling into the country who hasn't actually been convicted of drug possession and they do so at their whim.

What make less sense are mentions of visa issues, like in this Page Six report. If Lawson was just going on vacation and didn't have plans to work in the U.S., she probably wouldn't need a visa. The State Department website reads, "Most citizens of United Kingdom can travel to the U.S. for Tourism or a Visit for 90 days or less without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program." Perhaps the emphasis here is on "most," which could imply that if you have had drug issues, you need a Visa to prove that you're eligible to enter the country. (A fair number of high-profile individuals have had problems with this in recent years and concerns about entering the country after drug arrests plagued numerous musicians during the 1960s and 70s.)

The whole thing is still highly speculative and very mysterious, but at least she's getting support: fellow The Taste judge Anthony Bourdain has taken to his twitter account to complain about the hypocrisy of the U.S. government denying Lawson entry and allowing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to enter. Fair point.

Image via Tristan Fewings/Getty.