Police won't press charges against Nigella Lawson after she promises a courtroom, “Regular cocaine users do not look like this.”
“Domestic Goddess” Nigella Lawson will not face any action after admitting in court that she had taken drugs, because a prosecution could deter future witnesses from being truthful, UK police said on Monday, January 27.
Nigella, 54, made headlines globally when she told a court she had taken cocaine several times and smoked cannabis at the end of her 10-year marriage to Charles Saatchi. The revelations came as her two former assistants, on trial for defrauding the couple of £685,000, argued there was an understanding they could spend at will if they kept quiet about her drug taking.
The pair was acquitted at the end of a three-week trial last December, but Nigella’s admission to the court led to a police investigation. A spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said a specialist team had examined all the available evidence and a review concluded there would be no further action by police.
“The decision has been taken based on a number of factors, including the need for police action to be proportionate, whether further action would be in the public interest, and after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The police said there was serious public interest concern about the message any prosecution would send to potential witnesses and victims in the future.
“Whilst witnesses clearly cannot simply admit to any offence under oath without consequences, this has to be balanced with the requirement for victims and witnesses to tell the truth. Further police activity may deter victims from being candid with police and in court for fear of future investigation,” it said.
The trial of the two assistants, sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, enthralled Britain with lurid tales of drug use, lavish spending and marital bullying. It followed Lawson and Saatchi’s bitter divorce last July. Their marriage fell apart after he was photographed clasping her throat at a restaurant in London’s Mayfair.
The Italian sisters alleged that Lawson used cocaine, cannabis and prescription pills daily for over a decade. Lawson denied that she was a habitual drug user but told London’s Isleworth Crown Court that she had smoked cannabis occasionally towards the end of her marriage to Saatchi and had taken cocaine several times in her life but never regularly.
She pointed out that most regular cocaine users “are a lot thinner than I am”. She also quipped: “I can say that since freeing myself from a brilliant but brutal man, I am now totally cocaine, cannabis and any drug-free. I don’t have a drug problem, I have a life problem.”
She said she was “disappointed” when the Grillos were acquitted and complained she had been “maliciously vilified” in the trial that had provided a stage for a sustained campaign by her ex-husband to destroy her reputation.
The fraud case exposed the bitter rows between Lawson and Saatchi, 70, co-founder of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Nigella is currently starring in TV cookery contest show The Taste broadcast in both Britain and the US. – Reuters