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Nigella Lawson 'Liked To Carry Tube Of English Mustard In Her Handbag'

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Nigella Lawson likes to carry a tube of English mustard in her handbag, her former personal assistant has revealed as she continued claims the celebrity chef had a cocaine habit.

Francesca Grillo told Isleworth Crown Court in west London that she "frequently" found rolled-up banknotes with white powder on them in her handbag.

Miss Grillo, who along with her sister Elisabetta is on trial accused of defrauding Ms Lawson and former husband Charles Saatchi, said she never saw Ms Lawson taking drugs although she did find evidence of drug use on many occasions.

nigella lawson

Nigella Lawson's former PAs are on trial for alleged fraud

One of her jobs as Ms Lawson's aide was to exchange items between her handbags, and she would find rolled-up banknotes in those, she told the court on Tuesday.

Asked how often she found the banknotes, Grillo said: "Frequently. Every time I went through her handbag there was some notes. It was very frequent."

Asked if she ever raised the issue of drugs, she replied: "No. I didn't think it was my place."

Ms Lawson would tell Francesca "you're good at finding things" and ask her to look for belongings in her handbags, the jury heard.

She told the court Ms Lawson mislaid things "very often", adding: "Keys, her phone, her mustard."

Asked to clarify, she said: "She likes to carry a tube of English mustard. I know it sounds weird but that's what it is."

Asked by defence counsel Karina Arden if the substance could have been make-up, Grillo replied: "Too white to be make-up."

Ms Lawson would sometimes come downstairs with white powder on her nose and Francesca would point it out to her, but would be told by the cook it was make-up.

She said she first saw the rolled-up notes at the food writer's Shepherd's Bush home, in the kitchen after a party and also in a guest bedroom.

She also noted that the TV cook often had a runny nose, the court heard.

Francesca Grillo, 35, and her sister Elisabetta, 41, are accused of defrauding the celebrity couple by spending £685,000 on credit cards belonging to them.

The court has heard the siblings bought designer clothes, shoes and luxury holidays on the cards.

The Grillos, of Kensington Gardens Square, Bayswater, west London, each deny a single count of committing fraud by using a company credit card for personal gain between January 1 2008 and December 31 last year.