Charles Saatchi tells jury he has never seen Nigella high on drugs

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Multimillionaire art dealer Charles Saatchi attended Isleworth crown court yesterday where former PA sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo deny accusations of fraud.

Satchi said in court he still "adores" his former wife Nigella Lawson, and does not believe she was "so off her head and addled with drugs" that she allowed the two Italian sisters to spend as much as they liked on credit cards she provided.

He also admitted to be "utterly bereft" that a private taunting email sent to former wife Lawson went public.

In the email, Satchi addresses the celebrity chef as being “off her head" on drugs while calling her “Highgella”.

The email, sent on 10 October and immediately passed on by Lawson to her layers, has indeed become common knowledge and part of the mediatic circus around the sisters' trial and allegations to the celebrity couple.

Satchi stood in court while the email was read in full to jurors but when asked if he believed his former wife was indeed a habitual cocaine user he said "I do not know."

Sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo are accused of spending more than £685,000 of the celebrity couple's money on luxury goods for themselves, designer clothes, flights and five-star hotels.

The two women had initially been employed as nannies for Lawson before the death of her first husband, John Diamond, then went on to become Lawson and Satchi's personal assistants.

In court Saatchi agreed that the sisters had been "like family", that he was very fond of them, and so were Lawson and the children. Francesca Grillo even lived rent-free at the family home in Eaton Square, and, the multimillionaire pointed out, although there was no real need for the couple to keep employing both of them, they liked them very much and just found work for them.

The trial continues.

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