Nigella Lawson testified in court Wednesday that she has used cocaine, but denied claims that she is a drug addict.
According to Today, which quotes Central News UK's CourtNewsUK service, the celebrity chef told jurors that she has only used the drug twice, the first time when her late husband, John Diamond, was sick with cancer. She said she also used it in 2010 while married to her second husband Charles Saatchi.
"I was having a very, very difficult time,'' she said, according to CourtNewsUK. "I was being subjugated to intimate terrorism by Mr Saatchi."
Lawson testified on Wednesday morning in a London court in the fraud trial against her two former personal assistants. Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo have been charged with defrauding Lawson's ex-husband Charles Saatchi out of more than $480,000 which they allegedly spent on holidays, designer handbags and other items. The sisters' legal team says they had a verbal understanding with Lawson that they could use Saatchi's company card in exchange for their silence on Lawson's alleged heavy drug problem, which they say included cocaine, cannabis and prescription pills.
An e-mail from Saatchi in which he refers to Lawson as "Higella" and calls her "drug-addled" was introduced as evidence, but Saatchi backpedaled last week and said that he had "never, never seen any evidence of Nigella taking any drug whatsoever."
Saatchi and Lawson's divorce was finalized in July, shortly after photographs were published that showed Saatchi grabbing Lawson by the throat in a restaurant in London.
"I have been put on trial here,'' Lawson said Wednesday. "It comes after a long summer of bullying abuse, and I find it like another chapter in that. [Saatchi] said to me that if I didn't go to him and clear his name, he would destroy me, and also started spreading false allegations of drug use and in particular the awful incident [at the restaurant]. I felt his way of getting this out was to use this case."