Nigella Lawson’s amazing courtroom one-liners


“…a beautiful young woman with the walk of a queen” wrote W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory in their famous nationalist play Cathleen Ni Houlihan and yesterday, as I watched Nigella Lawson walk into court with commanding regality, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Yeats’ and Gregory’s line. The 53-year-old appeared as a witness in the trial against her former personal assistants, Francesca and Elizabetta Grillo, both of whom are accused of defrauding Nigella and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi of hundreds of thousands of pounds by using their credit cards without Nigella or Charles knowing. However, amidst claims of “habitual drug use” by Nigella, the trial has quickly escalated into a media frenzy, whereby Nigella has had to defend herself to the world’s media. And she did so beautifully. Outwitting the Grillos’ defence lawyers at every turn, Nigella has churned out some delicious one-liners over her two-day stint in the witness box and here are some of her best ones:

Anthony Metzer, QC to Nigella: “When you unfortunately separated from Mr Saatchi”, Nigella interjects with, “I wouldn’t say unfortunately…”

Anthony Metzer to Nigella: “Your staff are now part of what they call ‘Team Nigella’?

Nigella: “No, they call themselves ‘Team Cupcake.’

Metzer asks Nigella if she moved into Saatchi’s home before or after their wedding and she replies, “Oh, I think it was a bit before. Sorry to shock you.”

Nigella to Metzer: “You’re zig-zagging a bit.”

Metzer asked Nigella to address some bank statements and when she couldn’t find them, he suggested that she wasn’t accustomed to looking through bank statements very often. However, it turned out that said statements were never present in Nigella’s or the juror’s pile of documents and Nigella wasted no time in pointing out the court’s sloppiness by quipping, “Perhaps you were a little bit hasty in your ‘you don’t look at bank statements very often’.”

Karin Arden, defence for Francesca Grillo: “Was Francesca ever a confidante to your children?

Nigella: “Well, if she was a confidante to the children, I wouldn’t know about it.”

Arden asks Nigella if her ex-husband’s home was sold for £25million and when Nigella says she is unsure of the exact sum, Arden retorts that that was the figure “reported in the press”, to which Nigella cuttingly and brilliantly quips, “Then it must be true.”

Nigella to Arden: “I promise you … regular cocaine users do not look like this.”

It was pointed out to Nigella that she once left the house with white powder on her face, which was apparently foundation, but Nigella had the courtroom in chuckles when she joked, “Don’t you know I have a very bad coke habit.”


31 thoughts on “Nigella Lawson’s amazing courtroom one-liners

  1. Boz says:

    Oh how I wish that the person who left the previous ‘intelligent and considered’ reply would use correct grammar. Maybe like Charles and Nigella [allegedly not being accustomed to looking through bank statements very often] this person is not accustomed to writing for themselves very often …… you cannot be a sad, deluded **ck. You could however be a sad [comma] deluded ****er if my state, secondary education is correct.

    • jayarava says:

      The trouble with trying to apply rigid grammatical rules to a living language, Boz, is that you completely miss the point. “Fuck” here is a *noun*, a usage which is relatively recent but well attested: in e.g. “dumb fuck”, The noun is preceded by two adjectives “sad” and “deluded” and Charles S (for Saatchi?) has inserted a comma between them according to common UK usage. We’d probably interpret this as implying a copular verb ‘are’ (as in “you [are a] sad, deluded fuck”) but leaving it implied is fine in these appositional sentences. So there is nothing ungrammatical or against conventions of style and usage in his ejaculation.

      Not that I endorse the protestation of Charles, but I hate grammar trolls as a subspecies more than I hate trolls more generally. If you’re going to be a grammar troll then at least look at a grammar book from time to time, and try to keep up with the vernacular which you won’t find in a Jane Austin novel. Nothing about your education seems to have been correct, Boz, it was designed to make you a dumb fuck. In the immortal words of John Lydon, “they made you a moron”.

      I thought Nigella’s one liners were moderately amusing. But the reporting of this trial is highly distasteful and on the whole uninteresting.

    • JimmyC says:

      You could be either: without the comma, the word ‘sad’ qualifies the entire phrase ‘deluded fuck’; with the comma, the word ‘sad’ only qualifies the word ‘fuck’. Prescriptivist grammar is nonsense anyway, unless the meaning is not communicated.

  2. Steve Bishop says:

    Anyone even experimenting with cocaine becomes partly responsible for thousands of horrifying murders carried out in the drug wars.

    • Vince Noir says:

      yeah, let’s not lay any of the blame with those politicians (i.e. pretty much all of them) intent on perpetuating an unworkable, outdated and irresponsible drug policy. let’s just blame the casual, powerless consumers. they’re the real murderers after all!

    • donald trump's elbow says:

      If you could buy fairtrade certified cocaine, well, you wouldn’t. How many people have been murdered over tea, coffee, sugar, gold, diamonds, er… the list goes on.

  3. Boz says:

    jayaravas comments on gramma may be well correct. I think its quite sad to lower oneself to use the work *uck. To me [with my secondary education knowledge] use of this word in everyday language simply indicates a lack in the users vocabulary.

    jayaravas says: Nothing about your education seems to have been correct, Boz, it was designed to make you a dumb fuck. In the immortal words of John Lydon, “they made you a moron”.

    well jayaravas you are far too clever for your own ****ing good – i am out of here …

  4. Pingback: Higella | Ellie Flynn

  5. Amber says:

    Fuck does not always denote a lack of vocabulary on the authors part, rather a disturbing lack of properly emotive language within the English vernacular. We as a nation are rather uptight about expressing our emotions particularly the more violent ones.

    But I digress My original purpose was to praise this beautiful woman on her bravery in dealing with this shitstorm of media being slung in her direction.

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