Nigella Feared Her Husband's Reaction if He Learned About Her Drugs Habit/Reuters
Nigella Feared Her Husband's Reaction if He Learned About Her Drugs Habit/Reuters

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson allegedly had a 'culture of secrecy' in her marriage with art tycoon Charles Saatchi.

"The defendants' case is that Ms Lawson lied to her ex-husband about her drug use and the expenditure incurred by the defendants. This was because she was fearful about Mr Saatchi's reaction if he knew about the extent of the drug use. Therefore there was a culture of secrecy in their marriage," Metzer said.

Anthony Metzer QC is defending the couple's former employee Elisabetta Grillo. Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, who were Lawson's assistants, are due to go on trial for committing fraud while they worked as PAs to the couple. They allegedly blew £300,000 on taxis, flights and clothes.

"Ms Lawson was aware that the defendants knew she was a habitual drug user, so she allowed this expenditure,' Metzer added.

Lawson apparently took cocaine, Class B drugs and prescription pills so often that Saatchi called her 'Higella.'

Saatchi filed for divorce from Lawson earlier this year, after she failed to defend him in public following the publication of photographs that appeared to show the 70-year-old art tycoon physically assaulting his wife.

Saatchi, the billionaire art collector, has also alleged that she trashed her daughter's life. Her daughter Cosima (Mimi) is a 19-year-old student.

"Of course the Grillos will now get off on the basis that you and Mimi where (sic) so off your heads on drugs you allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked. And yes, I believe every word the Grillos have said, who, after all, only stole money. You, Higella, on the other hand, poisoned your child with drugs and trashed her life. Classy," Saatchi said in an email, sent on 10 October this year.