• Newsletters
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
°
Sunday, September 24, 2017
View complete forecast
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Nigella Lawson's ex-assistants acquitted of fraud

Italian sisters Francesca, centre, and Elisabetta Grillo, obscured behind her, former personal assistants of English broadcaster Nigella Lawson and her former husband art collector Charles Saatchi, arrive at the Isleworth Crown Court, in west London, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, during a trial over alleged fraud. Grillos are accused of committing fraud by abusing their positions as PAs by using a company credit card for personal gain between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2012. (Photo By The Associated Press)
Italian sisters Francesca, centre, and Elisabetta Grillo, obscured behind her, former personal assistants of English broadcaster Nigella Lawson and her former husband art collector Charles Saatchi, arrive at the Isleworth Crown Court, in west London, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, during a trial over alleged fraud. Grillos are accused of committing fraud by abusing their positions as PAs by using a company credit card for personal gain between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2012. (Photo By The Associated Press)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, December 20, 2013 08:57 am
LONDON — Two former assistants to celebrity cook Nigella Lawson and her former husband were acquitted of fraud in London on Friday.Following a three week trial, a jury at London's Isleworth Crown Court rejected the prosecution's claims that sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo had made unauthorized, lavish purchases on credit cards loaned to them by Lawson and Charles Saatchi to the tune of 685,000 pounds (more than $1 million).

Their fraud trial has been overshadowed by revelations about the domestic life of Lawson and Saatchi, who divorced in July after he was photographed grabbing her neck outside a London restaurant.

Elisabetta, 41, and Francesca, 35, had insisted their spending on luxury clothes, accessories and high-end hotel rooms was authorized.

Their defense lawyers had claimed that Lawson approved their high spending in exchange for their silence about her alleged habitual drug use.

Lawson admitted on the stand to taking cocaine but strongly denied she was a regular or frequent drug user.

Neither of the Grillos was in court when the verdict was read, but Elisabetta's lawyer, Anthony Metzer, said his client was "relieved" and "crying her eyes out."

Comments

News-Sentinel.com reserves the right to remove any content appearing on its website. Our policy will be to remove postings that constitute profanity, obscenity, libel, spam, invasion of privacy, impersonation of another, or attacks on racial, ethnic or other groups. For more information, see our user rules page.
comments powered by Disqus