TODAY

TODAY   |  November 29, 2013

Nigella Lawson's ex-husband to testify at trial

Celebrity TV chef Nigella Lawson’s husband is set to testify in court, accusing Lawson’s assistants of racking up more than a million dollars in credit card purchases on his dime after they say Lawson allowed them to spend in an effort to conceal a drug habit. NBC News’ Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>> trial of celebrity chef nigella lawson 's former personal assistants is making headlines around the gold. not only for the incredibly lavish life style they're accused of living through fraud but also of the stunning allegations of drug abuse against lawson. michelle kosinski has the latest from a london suburb. good morning.

>> reporter: it has been slow go here. just listening to all the purchases that the personal assistants made for themselves on nigella's then husband's credit cards . he now says he believes the assistants he accuses of stealing when they say nigella let them spend in returned for keeping her alleged daily cocaine habit a secret. today her ex-husband, the alleged victim here is expected to testify but he has said he believes the sisters. he and nigella got a speedy and private divorce of pictures surfaced showing them fighting at a restaurant. the alleged drug abuse was con if i recalled to me by other people in and around the household. they lived rent free at nigella lawson 's home earning salaries of more than $40,000. they racked up in five years more than $1,000,000 in personal items on their boss's credit cards . francesca hit up designer boutiques nearly every day. staying at the ritz in paris and soho house on her boss's dime ringing up more than $100,000 in that month. the sisters in one year with drew nearly 100,000 just in cash for themselves and say they admitted to at least some of it. were apologetic and wanted to pay it back but when presented with a plan to dock their pay slightly said they were being treated worse than slaves. but the defense says they had an agreement with nigella that they would keep secret her daily cocaine use and abuse of prescription drugs.

>> they were a golden couple and we're learning things about them. they're only allegations at this stage which i dare say they would rather were not brought out into the cold light of day.

>> this is an unusual look inside the finances of an extremely wealthy family. the amount that was spent just by household half amounted to well over $1.5 million every year. but the finance director said it was never scrutinized because the couple didn't have time for what they considered to be trivial matters.