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Nigella Lawson Allegedly Banned From U.S. Over Drug Admissions

By McCarton Ackerman 04/04/14

The U.S. embassy in London confirmed that Lawson was denied permission to board a flight bound from Heathrow Airport to Los Angeles, but declined to state the reason why.

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Looks like British TV chef Nigella Lawson won’t be entering the United States anytime soon. The self-proclaimed “Domestic Goddess” has been banned by U.S. authorities, allegedly over her admissions of drug use in court last year.

During the trial of two former assistants who were acquitted of defrauding her and ex-husband Charles Saatchi for over $1 million, Lawson admitted under oath that she snorted cocaine several times in her life and smoked pot toward the end of her marriage. Scotland Yard declined to press charges against her afterwards for fear that it would prevent others from being truthful with their testimonies in court.

Lynne Platt, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in London, confirmed that Lawson was denied permission to board a flight from Heathrow Airport in London bound for Los Angeles, but would not give a specific reason why. She also said that Lawson was invited to apply for a visa which British citizens need to work in the states; she is currently the host of ABC reality competition show The Taste.

“She didn’t seem to say much, but she did not look happy,” said one source. “She could not get on the flight, so she had to turn around and leave.” Other British celebrities, including Kate Moss and Amy Winehouse, have also been banned from the entering the United States doing drugs.

In the trial of her former assistants, husband Charles Saatchi accused Lawson of giving drugs to their 19-year-old daughter, Cosimi, and claimed she authorized her two assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, to swindle him out of $490,000. He also dubbed his ex-wife “Hi-gella” and said that the sisters were innocent victims in the crime. The Grillo sisters said that Lawson had a daily habit of using marijuana, cocaine, and prescription drugs, and had been taking “cocaine every day for a decade."

But just a few days after making the scathing accusations, Saatchi told the London court that he had no proof of Lawson actually using drugs. “I have never, never seen any evidence of Nigella taking any drug whatsoever,” he said.

Lawson and Saatchi filed for divorce last June after he was photographed with his hand around her throat outside of a restaurant. Although he was cautioned by police after the incident, he was not charged with any crime.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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