September 25, 2016  

Nigella Lawson's Former Assistants Acquitted of Fraud

December 21, 2013 (4:55 am) GMT
Lawson says in a statement that she is 'disappointed but unsurprised' after Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, who were accused of defrauding her and Charles Saatchi, are acquitted.

's former assistants, Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, who were accused of using Lawson's ex-husband Charles Saatchi's credit cards for personal use, have been acquitted of all charges. The verdict was delivered in a London court on Friday, December 20.

The celebrity chef slammed court system in a statement following the acquittal. She wrote, "I am disappointed but unsurprised by this verdict. Over the three-week trial the jury was faced with a ridiculous sideshow of false allegations about drug use which made focus on the actual criminal trial impossible."

"My experience as a witness was deeply disturbing. When false claims about habitual drug use were introduced I did everything possible to ensure the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) was aware of the sustained background campaign deliberately designed to destroy my reputation," Lawson continued.

"I did my civic duty, only to be maliciously vilified without the right to respond. I can only hope that my experience will highlight the need for a reform that will give witnesses some rights to rebut false claims made against them," she continued, adding, "Even more harrowing was seeing my children subjected to extreme allegations in court without any real protection or representation. For this I cannot forgive the court process." The celebrity chef also thanked people who supported her during the "difficult and upsetting time."

The Grillo sisters previously were said spending $1.02 million on luxury items and vacations using Saatchi's credit cards without permission. The two, however, claimed that Lawson authorized the use of the credit cards to buy their silence concerning her recreational drug use.

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