POLICE are to investigate Nigella Lawson’s admission she took cocaine and cannabis, while social services could intervene after claims she used drugs in front of her two children.
The Metropolitan Police made a dramatic U-turn after initially saying an investigation into the author and television presenter would take place only if new evidence emerged.
However, Met commander Stephen Watson said officers would now examine the “implications” of what Ms Lawson said under oath at the trial of two former personal assistants and seek advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
The 53-year-old “domestic goddess” revealed she took cocaine with her late husband John Diamond when he found out he had terminal cancer, and again in July 2010 when she claimed she was being “subjected to intimate terrorism” by former husband Charles Saatchi.
Scotland Yard said on Friday that officers would not look into the issue at this stage, but the force would review the decision if new evidence came to light.
But in a statement yesterday, it said that “a specialist team from the Metropolitan Police Service [MPS] will examine the evidence emerging as part of a review into this matter”.
Mr Saatchi claimed in an e-mail that Ms Lawson’s drug use meant she allowed their former assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, to spend what they liked. It said: “Of course now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you [and your daughter] 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.”
Scotland Yard said: “After the MPS’s decision not to investigate at this stage was queried in press reporting, we would like to clarify the position with regard to this witness.
“The senior investigating officer received legal advice that the witness’s admissions did not by themselves provide sufficient evidence to bring charges. On that basis therefore, and in absence of any other corroboration, there is no imminent prospect of a prosecution being mounted.
“As we said, however, should any evidence come to light that can be investigated further, we will review this decision. A specialist team from the MPS will nevertheless examine all the evidence emerging as part of a review into this matter and, in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service, will determine an appropriate way forward.”
Mr Watson said the evidence heard during the trial at Isleworth Crown Court would have “implications”.
He said: “Part and parcel of that review we will undertake will be to look at all aspects of the testimony that was given in the trial, which is now public knowledge, and will reveal itself in the transcripts of the trial.
“There are implications in terms of what has been said during the course of that trial and all those implications will be taken into account in determining an appropriate way forward.”
Police will consider whether to bring drug-possession charges and could interview Ms Lawson to try to identify who sold her any drugs. Social services could intervene either at the request of police or on their own initiative after claims she used drugs in front of her children.
Meanwhile, Ms Lawson has insisted she has “toughened up”.
She said: “The past months have been extremely difficult but I am looking forward to getting back to work and to looking after my family. I will survive this and move forward. I just want to focus on family life and work.”
Sisters plan to sue celebrity couple for defamation
Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo are planning to sue Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi for defamation and damage to their reputation, following their acquittal on charges of stealing £685,000.
The sisters’ father, Michele Grillo, said yesterday: “We are now going to see if we can sue them for damages for what they put Elisabetta and Francesca through.
“The girls have been brought up well, have never done anything wrong and were innocent. The lawyers were right when they said they were just lambs caught in the middle of a fight between two wolves.”
In an interview, the Italian sisters claimed Ms Lawson experienced “wild mood swings” as her marriage to Mr Saatchi broke down.
Francesca said: “She’d be this hyperactive Duracell bunny, buzzing round the house. But then she wouldn’t be able to sleep and would turn into a zombie. When you spoke to her, it was like there was nothing there. She was vacant. She’d talk to herself and say to us, ‘Just ignore me – I’m not making sense today’.”
Elisabetta said Ms Lawson and her daughter had a fondness for fast food, including Kentucky Fried Chicken and Chinese takeaways.
“For Nigella, staying up late with Mimi was a bonding experience, a special time where the girls could talk.
“They loved takeaways, McDonald’s, Domino’s pizza, Chinese, KFC, fish and chips,” Elisabetta said.