Nigella Lawson says she has eaten a lot of chocolate since the “mortifying” experience of having her private life put on display during the fraud trial of two former assistants.
But Lawson doesn’t want to dwell on the ordeal, she said in her first live TV appearance since she appeared as a witness in the trial of the Grillo sisters, facing claims she was a habitual drug user.
Lawson made a brief appearance on Good Morning America on the ABC – the US network also home to reality cooking show The Taste on which she is a judge/mentor.
She brought along lemon meringue pie for the presenter to taste, but first had to face a light grilling on her experience in court.
She said she couldn’t remember the details of being in the witness stand because she was so focused on answering the questions that “you don’t have an enormous awareness of yourself – maybe that’s a good thing”.
“My only desire really was to protect my children as much as possible which I wasn’t alas always, I couldn’t do - but that’s what I wanted to do.
“Since then I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate, had a very good Christmas and I’m into the New Year.”
She was asked how she went about trying to protect her children from headlines over the bitter collapse of her marriage to Charles Saatchi, and the headlines about her drug use.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I have to be honest that to have not only your private life but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying. But you know 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 complained that one of the “niceties” of the English legal system meant that, as a witness, she didn’t get a lawyer. “Maybe it’ll change,” she said.
During the trial Lawson was accused of having a chronic drug habit and secretly using cocaine, cannabis and prescription pills daily for more than a decade.
She was also accused of letting her then-under-age children smoke cannabis.
In the witness stand she admitted taking cocaine and cannabis, but said she had never been a drug addict, and had only used the drugs a few times.
She said Saatchi, who had been photographed in a restaurant with his hand around her throat, had threatened to destroy her if she didn’t help him clear his name.
The Grillo sisters were cleared of fraud.
After the verdict Lawson released a written statement describing the court experience as deeply disturbing, and claiming she had been subjected to a sustained campaign designed to destroy her reputation.
There has been speculation the drug revelations would damage her US TV career, and Lawson is believed to have a team of PR experts advising her on how to protect her brand.
The soft-soap interview on Good Morning America did not ask any questions about her drug use, and instead quickly moved on to asking her about her lemon meringue pie.
She said she loved both its texture and its taste, adding that “everyone underrates lemon” as a dessert.