Nigella Lawson has admitted that she has taken cocaine, at the Isleworth Crown Court trial of her former assistants, who have denied fraud. The television cook said she had first taken the drug with her late husband John Diamond when he was terminally ill as "it gave [Diamond] some escape."

Nigella Lawson
Nigella Lawson Has Admitted In Court That She Has Used Cocaine.

Lawson, 53, revealed that she took cocaine with Diamond on six occasions after they discovered that his cancer was terminal. She also said she used the class A drug again in 2010 when she felt her ex-husband Charles Saatchi was subjecting her to "intimate terrorism."

She said "There was another time I took cocaine. In July 2010 I was having a very, very difficult time. I felt subjected to intimate terrorism by Mr Saatchi," she said, adding that she felt "isolated and in fear of... just unhappy," via BBC News.

"A friend of mine offered me some cocaine, I took it," she said, adding that it "completely spooked" her. "The idea that I am a drug addict, or habitual user of cocaine is absolutely ridiculous," Lawson said.

Grillo Sisters
The Grillo Sisters Allege They Were Bribed To Conceal Nigella's Drug Use.

She also admitted that in the past year she has smoked cannabis though her drug use "was not behaviour [she is] proud of." She said "I found it made an intolerable situation tolerable. It's a false friend and not a good idea. I have to say, since freeing myself from a brilliant but brutal man, I'm now totally cannabis, cocaine, any drug-free."

The admission came in the midst of the fraud trial against Lawson and Saatchi's former assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo. The Italian sisters are said to have used the company credit cards to spend a total of £685,000 on luxury items and holidays. Elisabetta, 41, and Francesca, 35, deny the charge against them and claim that they were given free reign of the credit cards in exchange for covering up Lawson's drug addiction.

Charles Saatchi
Charles Saatchi Has Denied Any Knowledge Of Nigella Using Drugs, Despite His Email.

Last week, Saatchi described himself as "bereft" that a private email he sent to his ex-wife during the summer saying she was "off [her] head on drugs" was made public and read out in court. The email read: "Nigella [...] I can only laugh at your sorry depravity. Of course now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you were so off your head on drugs that you allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked and yes I believe every word the Grillos have said, who after all only stole money."

Called to explain the email in court, Saatchi then denied any knowledge of Lawson ever using drugs: "It was hearsay. I personally have absolutely no knowledge that Nigella has ever taken a drug ever. I don't like drugs at all and I didn't like reading what the Grillos said was the culture in my house," he claimed.

Nigella Lawson Arrival Court
Nigella Has Been Accused Of Using The Court Case As A Media Vehicle.

The couple divorced in July, not long after photos of Saatchi gripping Lawson's neck and holding her nose were published. At the time Saatchi accepted a police caution for assault though Lawson claims that "a long summer of bullying and abuse" followed. She alleges that Saatchi "told everyone" that he was taking cocaine out of her nose during the restaurant incident but in actuality it was provoked after she made a remark about a passing baby."

"I said 'I'm so looking forward to having grandchildren'," she explained. "He grabbed me by the throat and said 'I'm the only person you should be concerned with'."

To the in-court accusation that she was using the trial as a media vehicle to explain herself, Nigella replied "I would rather be honest and ashamed... not bullied with lies."