Saatchi accused Nigella Lawson of drug-taking, court hears
Charles Saatchi accused his ex-wife Nigella Lawson and her daughter of being "so off your heads on drugs" that she allowed staff to spend "whatever they liked", a court has heard.
Sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo are set to go on trial at Isleworth Crown Court in west London.
They are accused of committing fraud while working as personal assistants to the couple.
Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi were granted divorce in July
Judge Robin Johnson read out an email sent from Saatchi to his former wife.
"Of course now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you (and) Mimi 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," the email read.
It formed part of legal arguments ahead of the trial.
TV chef Lawson is expected to give evidence during the trial of the Italians Francesca Grillo, 35, and Elisabetta Grillo, 41, which is expected to last at least two weeks.
The allegations by Saatchi were some of the many communications since the "unhappy events surrounding the witnesses' divorce this summer", Judge Johnson said.
The pair broke up after pictures were published in a newspaper in June showing the millionaire art dealer holding his wife by the throat.
The incident on the terrace of Scott's restaurant in Mayfair, central London, was dismissed by Saatchi as nothing more than "a playful tiff" but he later accepted a police caution for assault.
Saatchi later told the Mail on Sunday that the pictures gave a "wholly different and incorrect implication".
It is alleged that between January 1 2008 and December 31 2012, the defendants committed fraud by abusing their positions as PAs by using a company credit card for personal gain.
Elisabetta, 41, and Francesca, 35, both of Bayswater, west London, deny the charges.