Nigella Lawson – TV cook, domestic goddess, and…daily drug user of cocaine and other drugs?

That’s what a London court has been told by lawyers defending two Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, against fraud charges.

The sisters are accused of defrauding Lawson and her then-husband Charles Saatchi of more than £300,000  ($532,000) while working as their assistants.

The claim that Lawson, 53, used cocaine, class B drugs and prescription medicines daily over more than a decade, emerged in pre-trial hearings. It’s claimed that she did not want her husband to find out about her “guilty secret” and consented to the sisters’ expenditures, including designer goods and a first-class flight.

Even worse, it’s alleged that Lawson took drugs with her daughter Cosmina, 19.

In an email sent to his ex-wife, Saatchi, 70, said she had taken drugs along with her daughter, known as Mimi.

The message, read out by Judge Robin Johnson today said: “Of course now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you (and) Mimi were so off your heads on drugs that you allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked and yes I believe every word they have said.”

He added that “Higella” as he called her had “poisoned” her daughter with drugs and “trashed” her life.

Anthony Metzer QC, defending Elisabetta Grillo, 41, submitted that the argument caught on camera between Lawson and Saatchi in a London restaurant in June “may well have had something to do with Nigella taking drugs and may well have had something to do with the issue before this court [of whether Lawson had given the Grillos permission to use the credit cards].”

What do you think about allegations Nigella Lawson took cocaine and other drugs for years?