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Nigella Lawson to give evidence in trial of former assistants

Italian sisters Elisabetta (L) and Francesca Grillo, former assistants of Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, arrive at Isleworth Crown Court in west London, on November 28, 2013
Italian sisters Elisabetta (L) and Francesca Grillo, former assistants of Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, arrive at Isleworth Crown Court in west London, on November 28, 2013

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson was on Wednesday expected to testify in the trial of her two former personal assistants, a trial that earlier revealed emails from her ex-husband accusing her of using cocaine.

Art dealer Charles Saatchi last week told Isleworth Crown Court that he had no proof that his ex-wife had taken drugs -- but admitted he had sent an email claiming she was "off her head".

The email he wrote to Lawson was read in full to jurors at the trial of the Italian sisters who were personal assistants to the couple. The pair are accused of fraudulently spending £685,000 ($1.1 million, 820,000 euros)on Saatchi's company credit cards.

Saatchi, 70, said he was "utterly bereft" that the private email had been made public.

The celebrity couple split this year after 10 years of marriage, announcing their divorce after pictures appeared in newspapers of him grabbing her by the neck outside a London restaurant.

He accepted a police caution over the incident but said he was "disappointed" she had refused to say publicly that he had not abused her.

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