'No winners' in Nigella trial

Published Tuesday, 07 January 2014
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The former personal assistants of TV cook Nigella Lawson have said there were no winners in the recent court case which saw them being cleared of fraudulently using company credit cards.

'No winners' in Nigella trial
Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo speak to This Morning. (© Ken McKay)

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo spoke to This Morning following their acquittal last month after they were accused of spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on designer goods for themselves, while working for Nigella and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi.

The Italian sisters claimed every purchase had been approved by their then-bosses.

During the course of the trial at Isleworth Crown Court in London, Nigella gave evidence to the jury and admitted to using cocaine on a few occasions in the past, causing a huge media storm.

The sisters told This Morning's Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley they did not feel guilty that so much of Nigella's private live was put in the spotlight because their freedom was at stake.

"There are no winners in this situation. All of us lost something," said Elisabetta.

To say it was a nightmare is an understatement. This has been going on for almost a year and a half and it's been a year and a half of not knowing what is next.

Francesca Grillo

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 Nigella'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."

Francesca added: "We were in court not because of her drug use or because we wanted her to be punished. In admitting it, I think she was very brave to do so... but I didn't feel guilty."

She also said that she and her sister may have won their legal battle but the celebrity chef has won the hearts of the public.

"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.

Nigella was very welcoming to me, for me she was like family.

Elisabetta Grillo

"She is great at what she is doing and I wish her all the best."

Since her admission of drug use Nigella has appeared on American television to promote her new series The Taste, but she was also asked about the court case.

"To have not only your private life but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying, but there are people going through an awful lot worse and to dwell on any of it would be self pity and I don't like to do that," she said.

During their interview the Grillo sisters were asked if there was any consideration to reconcile with Nigella despite the very public differences they had recently endured.

"It's like a broken mirror - you can glue it back together but you see all the cracks," replied Francesca.

© UTV News
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