A Cliff Notes Guide To The Scandal Surrounding Celebrity Chef Nigella Lawson

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Nigella Lawson arriving at courthouse for hearing December 2013I've been pretty embroiled with getting hate mail from Paul Walker fans for the past few days, so I'm behind the times on this whole Nigella Lawson thing. (As a side note — how many celebrity chefs are planning on imploding this year? I figured once Paula Deen went off the deep end of the segregated swimming pool, that would be it for 2013, but nope!)

And since it's a weird, confusing story, I figured that I might not be the only one trying to puzzle out the details — so here is the cliff notes guide to what's up with Nigella right now. I hope you ace your test after lunch.

  • Nigella married an art collector named Charles Saatchi in 2003, having moved in with him nine months after the death of her first husband, journalist John Diamond, in 2001.
  • In June 2013, photos were published of Charles grabbing Nigella around the neck outside a seafood restaurant in London.
  • When questioned about the photos later that same month, Charles played them down by saying: “About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella’s neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasise my point. There was no grip, it was a playful tiff.”
  • A police investigation took place and Charles was given an official caution for assault.
  • In early July, Charles announced that he was divorcing Nigella, although court records show that she was the one who filed the papers. The divorce was finalized by the end of the month, and a private financial settlement was reached.
  • In late November 2013, two of the couple's personal assistants, Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, went on trial, accused of stealing credit cards. In the course of their testimony, new allegations on a variety of subjects have come to light.
  • For one thing, they claim that Nigella has a history of abusing cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs, and that she allowed them to use her family's money in exchange for staying quiet about it.
  • Nigella acknowledges that she did use drugs, but denies that it was paramount to abuse. She alleges the neck grab took place because she wanted grandchildren and he didn't, saying: ‘He [Charles Saatchi] told everyone that he was taking cocaine out of my nose. But what actually happened was that somebody walked by with a very cute baby in a stroller and I said “I am so looking forward to having grandchildren”, and he grabbed me by the throat and said “I am the only person you should be concerned with. I am the only person who should be giving you pleasure”.
  • She denies that there was any physical abuse in the marriage, but believes that Charles is trying to ruin her, financially and otherwise, by destroying her reputation.

Man. Stay tuned, I guess? This is nuts.

(Photo: Daniel Deme / WENN.com)