Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nigella Lawson Drug Use Allegations

Man, this is one nasty divorce.

At Telegraph UK, "Charles Saatchi devastated by Nigella's alleged cocaine habit and heartbroken over split, court hears."

Oh sure. He just hated it.

More here, "Nigella Lawson: death of a dream for a Domestic Goddess?":

Nigella Lawson’s hopes of finally making it big in American TV may have been thwarted by drug allegations.

As she shimmied on to the brightly lit Hollywood set, newly svelte in a tight red “wiggle dress” and wearing a smile primed to dazzle millions of American television viewers, Nigella Lawson might have been forgiven for thinking that – finally – her time had come.

After years of false starts and mixed critical receptions in the US, the self-styled Domestic Goddess had, in The Taste, at last found a major prime-time vehicle for the talents that had made her a national treasure – and a multimillionairess – on the other side of the Atlantic.

“Her dream has always been to conquer America, and she is now well on her way,” said a beaming Chris Coelen, the chief executive of Kinetic Productions, which made the programme and paid Lawson an estimated £250,000. “I am sure 2013 will be the Year of Nigella in America.”

The premiere of the show – a cross between Masterchef and The Voice that Lawson co-hosts and executive-produces – won six million viewers for the channel ABC. “Overall, it’s a good mix,” said the tough-to-impress Hollywood Reporter, which declared it was “hungry for more”. A second series was commissioned.

But Lawson’s newfound American profile and the series’ glossy, family-friendly image have now been jeopardised by shocking allegations by her former husband, Charles Saatchi, that she is a “habitual criminal” and hardcore recreational drug user. In one extraordinary email read out in court this week he dubbed her “Higella”.

These claims, made during the trial of two Italian sisters accused of fraudulent use of Mr Saatchi’s credit cards to the tune of at least £685,000, threw Lawson’s US operation into panic on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday. Executives at Kinetic refused to say whether they would stand by her, while a spokesman for ABC said coolly: “I’m not in a position to comment about or on behalf of Nigella.” The second series of The Taste had “already wrapped,” and would go out as planned from January 2, she said, but had nothing else to add.

The allegations, a shock to the millions of British fans who have Lawson’s books on their kitchen shelves, have the potential to wreak even greater damage in a country that remains more socially conservative, and which has for more than 40 years been fighting a tide of hard drugs being trafficked across its southern border.
More at that top link, especially this:
And, ironically, Anthony Bourdain, Lawson’s superstar co-host and co‑producer on The Taste, is himself a reformed drug addict who once sold his record collection to buy heroin. “We were high all the time, sneaking off to the walk-in refrigerator at every opportunity,” he said in his memoir of his days as a chef in Manhattan in the Nineties. “Hardly a decision was made without drugs.”

Bourdain, 57, who is married with a young daughter, was reported to be giving Lawson, 52, “emotional support”, having “taken her under his wing” in the aftermath of the traumatic publication in June of photographs showing Saatchi grabbing his then wife by the throat during a meal at Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair. (This week Bourdain signalled his backing of Lawson in a tweet that identified him as “#TeamNigella”.)