1. ITV Report

Nigella Lawson's former PA claims she 'found evidence of regular drug use'

Elisabetta Grillo, a personal assistant accused of defrauding Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, has told a court that she saw evidence of regular drug use by the celebrity cook.

Ms Grillo claimed she found 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, as well as rolled-up banknotes and credit cards with white powder on them.

ITV News' Martha Fairlie reports:

Asked if she had ever seen the celebrity cook taking drugs, the 41-year-old said "No".

Grillo claimed she was aware Nigella Lawson took cannabis and cocaine, but said she did not confront the 53-year-old about the issue as she did not want to embarrass her.

Defendant Elisabetta Grillo, 41, is seen wearing black at Isleworth Crown Court Credit: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

The former personal assistant told the court she found similar evidence when Ms Lawson moved in with Mr Saatchi at his home in Eaton Square.

She said she found rolled-up banknotes in a drawer in Ms Lawson's office.

Asked by Mr Metzer if there was anything on them, she said: " Yes, again, white stuff."

The defence barrister asked her how often over the years she had seen signs of drug use, to which she replied: "Regularly."

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo worked as personal assistants for Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi. Credit: EMPICS Entertainment

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo each deny a single count of committing fraud by using a company credit card for personal gain between 1st January 2008 and 31st December last year.

The trial continues.

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