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Nigella Lawson banned from flying to US after admitting drug use

April 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM ET

Video: British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson was banned when she tried to enter the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security confirms to NBC News. It’s linked to her admission of past drug use. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

In the latest embarrassing situation for British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson following a trial in which she revealed past drug use, she was banned from boarding a flight to the United States at a London airport on Sunday. 

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed to NBC News that Lawson was stopped from boarding a flight to Los Angeles at London's Heathrow Airport. Her ban is linked to her admission of past cocaine and marijuana use during a trial last year involving her two former assistants, who were acquitted of charges that they defrauded Lawson and her ex-husband, Charles Saatchi. Lawson's spokesman had no comment to NBC News about the latest situation. 

Lawson, who has hosted various cooking shows on the Food Network and the BBC, recently conducted an interview with the BBC in which she said she has "had better times."

She told the BBC: "We all gossip, but I don't take a particularly lofty view. Perhaps having a layer of skin removed, I'm also more aware of other people's misfortunes." 

No criminal charges or convictions have resulted from Lawson's admission of past drug use. Experts on U.S. travel restrictions told TODAY's Mike Taibbi that Lawson can apply to have any restriction lifted. Other British celebrities like Amy Winehouse and Boy George have been barred from traveling to the U.S. in the past but, unlike Lawson, they were convicted of drug offenses. 

Video: Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain is defending friend and fellow chef Nigella Lawson after she was banned from entering the U.S. after admitting to drug use. Bourdain tweeted that he’s 'mortified' of the U.S.'s actions.

Fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain weighed in on Lawson's situation, noting that Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack, has been allowed to travel from Canada to the U.S. 





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