This is certainly an era of revelations – the lifting of lids on private lives and secrets that those involved had hoped would remain under wraps. And it seems that no one is immune, including domestic goddess and International television chef, Nigella Lawson. As the unintentional rolling story on Ms Lawson’s private life is gathering momentum, it may also appear that her husband at the time, Charles Saatchi could also have been aware of Ms Lawson’s alleged drug-taking for some time prior to current reports. One might wonder then, how long did Charles Saatchi really know? Whether the allegations are true or not, after recognizing the real and potentially damaging problems that could have ultimately led to the break up of their marriage, could Saatchi perhaps have also recognized Lawson’s need for help, knowing of her unhappy and tragic past and shown more support?
Lawson’s ex-husband, three-times-married and divorced billionaire businessman, Charles Saatchi, had formerly reached a private financial settlement with his now third ex-wife. But could it be either unfortunate or clever timing on someone’s part that has brought on the exposure of his very private email to Lawson, accusing her of being off her head on drugs and “trashing” her daughter Cosima’s life by plying her with cocaine as well? Rather than denigrating Lawson by alluding to her “habitual criminality,” and in light of Saatchi’s current beau, Trinny Woodall’s public admission that she too, is a recovering addict, one might wonder why a smidgen of understanding on Saatchi’s part wouldn’t have gone amiss at a time it was most needed.
It can be all too easy to view things from one perspective only and it is also clear that so many tabloids have been quick to jump on the accusatory bandwagon, brandishing Lawson as, “the domestic goddess that fell to earth,” or bandying comments like, “no one envies the domestic goddess now.” But not one of them has really been too interested in covering how, if entirely true, Ms Lawson’s private issues appear to have suddenly reached such epic proportions in such a public way. However, as the story continues to unfold, the public will form its own conclusions anyway.
If allegations by her two personal assistants, sisters, Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo bear any truth to them, then it becomes questionable how they could have stood by and accepted Lawson’s alleged permission to use Saatchi’s company credit cards to go on multiple shopping sprees, without caring that they were not actually helping Lawson at all but rather, themselves. Or if, perhaps, according to Saatchi, the Grillo sisters were using embellishment of the truth to hide behind their embezzlement and fraud case, it can only be a matter of time before the truth will prevail, given the current nature of revelations on the karmic wheel’s agenda.
But let us get back to the issue at hand, the issue that has as yet, gone unmentioned here: the issue of addiction. In tandem with Lawson and Saatchi’s “Higellagate,” Trinny Woodall, former co-presenter of What Not to Wear, recently took part in a debate hosted by The Spectator, entitled, “Addiction is Not a Disease.” Woodall led a strong argument against the motion and raised some poignant points relating to her own experiences whilst under the influence of vodka, cocaine and pills, also revealing that her ten-year addiction had led to her desperation to get away from the “fake, lying, thieving, cheating person” she had become.
During her speech, Woodall disclosed how both her grandfather and uncle had been alcoholics, the latter of whom had died as a result of his illness. After being put through a succession of boarding schools from the age of 6 and a half, she also admitted that she lacked confidence as a teenager and “wanted so desperately to fit in,” so when she was presented with the opportunity to try cocaine one night, aged 16, she did so because she “wanted to be cool.”
It took a few years before Woodall began to recognize that her substance abuse was actually a problem and that her family had noticed a change in her personality. She decided to come clean and tell them and needless to say, they were horrified. Woodall said that she had made a half-hearted attempt to stop for a few weeks, but started using again, until she eventually overdosed and woke up in hospital. Her mother was the one who drove her to a rehab centre.
Woodall’s speech can be heard here:
So could addiction or alcoholism be genetic? Or could it develop as a result of some kind of traumatic or unhappy experience from the past? In an article in the Daily Mail, Nigella Lawson was reported as having said that her mother, Vanessa Salmon, did not like her, that she never thought that she could please her mother and that she would suffer physical abuse from her. Lawson had described her mother as “hot-blooded… funny but depressed and sensitive to noise.” According to Ms Lawson, her mother had a tendency to lash out when any of her four children made too much noise and her mother would often say “incredibly hurtful things to her.” Lawson also stated that she was sometimes encouraged by her father, former Conservative politician and journalist, Nigel Lawson, to have a glass of whiskey as she revised for her A’ Levels.
Sadly, Ms Lawson lost not only her mother to liver cancer, but her younger sister, Thomasina, 32, to breast cancer, as well as her first husband, journalist John Diamond to throat cancer in 2001. Lawson was left to bring up their two children, Cosima and Bruno, now both teenagers.
Whether or not allegations about Ms Lawson or her children’s supposed drug habits became public knowledge, the fact remains that such family issues are issues that should have remained behind closed doors.
As things currently stand, Saatchi claimed at Isleworth Crown Court today that he did not know about Lawson’s cocaine habit, that he adored his former wife and that he is “utterly bereft” at the private email intended for Lawson’s eyes only, reaching the public domain. He also claims that he could only assume that Ms Lawson had another agenda when she reportedly passed the email on to her lawyer, who was required to pass it on to the court, where it was read aloud, in front of Saatchi, as he gave evidence in the Grillo Sisters’ fraud case.
The irony here is that the celebrity ex-couple’s personal lives were not intended to become as exposed as they are now. Saatchi had reportedly suggested that he was certain that Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo would reveal whatever they had to, in order to help their case. Rather than take a pay cut and live for free at one of Lawson’s pads in Battersea in order to pay back some of the money they had reportedly embezzled from Saatchi’s company account, they said that they would rather go to jail.
The case continues.
By Brucella Newman