TODAY

TODAY   |  December 04, 2013

Nigella Lawson testifies in fraud trial

The British celebrity chef testified as a witness in a fraud trial accusing her ex assistants of abusing company credit cards.

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

>>> lawson testifying in a london courtroom against her two former personal assistants and she is pulling no punches. let's get right to michelle kosinski in london. good morning to you.

>> reporter: hey, savannah. this turned from a fraud trial into a very public dissection of nigella lawson 's personal life . this former assistant's defense is she had a cocaine habit and other drugs and they would let her spend while they kept her secret. something she denied. she took the stand looking groomed. loudly and confidently but her group waivered. he challenged how the defense portrayed her household. she spoke of the former personal assistants that were like members of her family. she said while she was very generous to gifts to the sisters including a new set of teeth and membership to a nightclub, there was no authorization for them to spend over $1 million in five years. her husband agrees but when the sister's own accusations came to light he asked other household staff and daughter about it and did believe that nigella had a severe cocaine habit that stretched back a long time. she shared it with her children for a long time. he sent her a scathing e-mail in october calling her higella. you have become a celebrity hostess on a global tv game show and you got the path you desired, free to heartily enjoy all the drugs you want. he has never seen any evidence that she took them.

>> she held her expartially responsible for spreading the accusations. i have been put on trial here. it comes after a long summer of bullying abuse and i find it like another chapterer in that. she has been doing publicity for her new show about to start in the u.s. next month.

>> certainly whether we dilute ourselves or not, a way of creating harmony doesn't always work.

>> now for a world stage in this case that's as mort identifying for the accusers as the accused.

>> there is a question out there, why charles saatchi refused. but nigella didn't authorize the spending and says the total amount is actually a lot higher than what's been established here. savannah.

>>> thank you very much. what a tale.

>> no one skoming out of this one unscathed.

>> no.