Nigella Denies She's 'Higella,' Says Saatchi Threatened to Destroy Her

Illustration for article titled Nigella Denies She's 'Higella,' Says Saatchi Threatened to Destroy Her

Nigella Lawson, the famous foodie your dad can't stop staring slack-jawed at, isn't having a great couple of weeks. In England earlier today, she had to take the stand and defend herself against allegations she's got a massive drug habit, which really puts everyone's crappy morning in perspective.


To recap: A couple of her former assistants, the Grillo sisters, are in court, accused of racking up huge expenditures on company credit cards and those they were loaned for household expenses. Their lawyers now say Nigella gave them carte blanche to spend whatever they wanted — as long as they didn't rat to her (now ex) husband Charles Saatchi about her alleged habit.

The pair divorced this summer, after Saatchi was photographed in a restaurant with his hand around Nigella's throat.

The sisters bolstered their case with an email from Saatchi, sent after he learned the Grillos would accuse her of drug abuse, where he called her "Higella," ranted they would get off scott free and claimed that "yes I believe every word they have said."

Once he actually got on the witness stand, though, he backtracked. He said he didn't know whether or not Nigella had signed off on any expenditures, and, the Daily News reports, he admitted he never actually saw her doing any drugs, nor does he have any evidence she did. He also said: "I absolutely adore Nigella, and I'm brokenhearted to have lost her."

Which tees up the Guardian's account of Nigella's testimony nicely. In court, she called out Saatchi, claiming, "He said to me if I didn't go back and clear his name he would destroy me." She went on, painting a pretty villainous picture of her ex:

"He started spreading false allegations of drug use, in particular the awful incident at Scott's, and I felt his way of getting things out was to use this case and in September a new addition to the defendants' defence statements came out which Mr Saatchi had menaced me with in August.

"I said: 'What allegations? There aren't going to be any.' These were spread on a PR blog dedicated to salvaging Mr Saatchi's reputation and trashing mine. I felt this would not become a fraud case and I would be put on trial and that is what happened. It comes after a long summer of bullying and abuse and I find it another chapter in that."


She admitted to trying cocaine a few times (who hasn't?), but called the idea she's a habitual user "absolutely ridiculous," according to The Independent.

This is playing out like the saddest, most melodramatic Lifetime movie ever.

Image via Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images



She also said that of the times in her life she's used cocaine, one was when she was with her late husband John Diamond, who was at the time dying of mouth cancer, and that it was a way of escaping for both of them. The fact that it would then later be flung in her face in this way is just despicable.

I remember my mum telling me that she read John Diamond's columns that he wrote as he was in the last year of his life and it was really awful - he was the one who encouraged Nigella to write her first cookery book, but by the time it was published he couldn't eat solid food. Just heartbreaking.