'Signs Of Regular Drug Use' In Nigella's Home

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'Signs Of Regular Drug Use' In Nigella's Home

A personal assistant accused of defrauding Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi has told a court she saw evidence of regular drug use by the TV cook.

Elisabetta Grillo, 41, said there were various signs that Ms Lawson was using cocaine, including a packet of white powder found in a toilet in the home she shared with former husband John Diamond.

Grillo told Isleworth Crown Court she also found rolled-up banknotes and credit cards with white powder on them.

Asked if she had ever actually seen Ms Lawson taking drugs, Grillo - who is also known as Lisa - said "No".

But she said she was aware that Ms Lawson had taken drugs and, when pressed by barrister Anthony Metzer QC about what type of substances, she said both cocaine and cannabis.

Italian-born Grillo worked for Ms Lawson as an au pair. She is accused alongside her sister Francesca of defrauding Ms Lawson and Mr Saatchi.

The sisters have been accused of abusing their positions by spending £685,000 on credit cards belonging to the couple.

The trial, now in its third week, has lifted the lid on the lifestyles of both Ms Lawson and Mr Saatchi and their acrimonious separation.

Grillo told the court she did not confront the 53-year-old TV cook about the issue as she did not want to embarrass her.

She said: "I was cleaning the house and I noticed a little packet on top of the loo, toilet. I opened it because it was kind of a little funny envelope and I saw white powder.

"Once I noticed a credit card with white, and a CD, like a music CD, with white stuff."

Both Elisabetta and Francesca deny a single count each of committing fraud by using a company credit card for personal gain.

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