TODAY   |  November 28, 2013

Chef Nigella Lawson accused of drug abuse

The British celebrity chef and author, who has a new cooking show set to begin in the U.S., is expected to be in court today, accused of racking up more than a million dollars on her ex-husband’s credit card and keeping it secret to conceal a drug habit. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports from London.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> but let's begin this half hour with a court case that is making headlines around the world, one issue being raised, serious allegations that celebrity chef nigella lawson has been a daily drug abuser for years. nbc's michelle kaczynski is at the courthouse in london.

>> reporter: they're on trial accused of racking up more than a million dollars on her then husband's credit cards over five years. their defense is that nigella didn't mind as long as they kept secret her daily cocaine habit. and now her ex who is really the assistants' alleged victim here, says he believes their story. the headlines have been ugly. drugs, nigella for a woman famous for her home cooking and sweet disposition.

>> really all you need is a twist of ingenuity, a few foods on stand by and fabulously easy express recipes.

>> reporter: her new show about to debut in america.

>> this, the new competition, with the real bite.

>> this is appalling.

>> that offended me.

>> i'm disappointed.

>> reporter: over the summer it was nigella the apparent victim when her then husband seemed to choke her and twist her nose at a restaurant. he called it a playful tiff and denied ever abusing her. now though the defense for the two grillo sisters, former personal assistants, accused of ringing up more than a million dollars on saatchi's company credit card says that infamous argument might be over what they characterized nigella's years' long daily cocaine habit and sprip prescription drug abuse . they said they could spend as long as they kept it a secret. an e-mail saatchi sent nigella read in court. now the grillos will get off now that you and mimi were so off your heads on drugs that you allowed the sisters to spend whatever you liked and, yes, i believe what the sisters have said, who, overall, only stole money. you, however, higella, poisoned your daughter with drugs.

>> crisis deelectably averted.

>> especially if you built your image around being wholesome, around the family dinner table and then open the doors and say, wait a minute, there's a lot going on. people could be turned off by that.

>> reporter: nigella hasn't commented on these allegations but we expect her to testify as soon as possible and hear from her ex-husband charles saatchi on the stand today. back to you guys.

>> shocking story there. thank you.