Ex PAs feel no guilt over legal battle with Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson’s former personal assistants have said they feel no guilt over their legal battle with the celebrity chef who they believe has won the hearts of the British public.

Ex PAs feel no guilt over legal battle with Nigella Lawson

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo spoke to ITV’s This Morning following their acquittal last month on charges of fraudulently using company credit cards — spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on designer goods for themselves, while working as personal assistants to Lawson and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi.

But the Italian sisters claimed every purchase had been approved by their then bosses and were found not guilty after jurors at Isleworth Crown Court in west London deliberated for nine hours.

“We have won the court case but definitely she had the most support from the public. She is well loved and she will always be loved and I am sure she will be fine,” Francesca Grillo, 35, told the programme. “She is great at what she is doing and I wish her all the best.”

Lawson admitted during the trial that she took cocaine with her late husband John Diamond when he found out he had terminal cancer, and in 2010 when she claimed that she was being “subjected to intimate terrorism” by Mr Saatchi.

Police are to review her admission that she took the class A drug.

The sisters said that it was “brave” of the TV cook to admit, during the trial, that she had taken cocaine. But they did not feel guilty about Ms Lawson giving evidence because their own “freedom was at stake”.

Francesca said: “It was tough but it was more tough to sit down in a dock and think, ‘I might be in prison for a long time’.”

She said of Ms Lawson’s family affairs being aired publicly: “I felt sorry for all of us involved. We shouldn’t have reached that. But unfortunately you are in a position where your freedom is at stake so you have to tell your side of the story.... I wish it didn’t happen, but I had to think about my freedom.”

She said of the case: “It’s mortifying for her, it’s mortifying for us, it’s mortifying for everybody involved.”

Francesca said of being accused: “It’s like you wake up one morning and your mother says, ‘I’m not your mother any more, sorry. You’ve been with me all your life, but I don’t know you any more’.”

Elisabetta added: “There are no winners in this situation. All of us lost something.”

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