I was intrigued to hear that the fraud case involving the Grillo Sisters was still being discussed on the radio this morning. When was the last time that a witness in a theft case has been put on public trial in the way Nigella Lawson has been? Let us be perfectly clear about it, she has been guilty of one thing and one thing only.She is guilty of having more money than sense. To fail to notice that £600,000 has been removed from your bank account shows that her and Charles Saatchi had a bit too much dosh for their own good.
However that is not the thrust of what she is being pilloried for. The press have the knives out because Nigella has admitted being partial to the odd spliff and has apparently taken cocaine seven times if you believe her or at every possible occasion if you believe the two sisters, who used the excuse that she was off her nut to go on a spending spree with her credit card. I don't really understand the Grillo's defence, which was that it was ok spending all her dosh, as we covered it up from Charles Saatchi?
Anyway, what is obsessing the media is whether "brand Nigella" has been damaged. I've met a few journalists over the years, I've not met too many who are saints. I do wonder how they keep a straight face as they stick the knives in. When I try and decide whether someone is a bad or a good person, I generally judge them by how their actions affect the rest of us. There is absolutely nothing in the coverage of Nigella that indicates anything other than the fact she has at times found it difficult to cope and has succumbed to the desire to get off her head. She lost her first husband, John Diamond to cancer. John Diamond used to write a diary of his struggle in the Daily Star. At the time I used to buy the paper simply to read his column. It was fascinating. His struggle was harrowing, losing his tongue and losing his ability to enjoy food. If I was in his shoes, I would do what I could to enjoy myself. If you know you are going to die soon, you might as well go out with a bang. I've no idea whether I would become a cokehead, but until you've been in that position, I really think you shouldn't judge. So what was Nigella to do? Could she disapprove or could she support him and go along for the ride. You may disagree, but I'd hope if I was in her position, I would take the role she did of supporting her husband and not turn my nose up and say "don't be so stupid, die in pain and misery".
When John, passed away she put the Charlie away. It stayed away until she was in a period of extreme stress. Unlike many marriages that fall apart, the disintegration of Nigella's was on the front page of the papers. We all shared in the way she was treated. There is no argument that she has been under stress. Does that excuse anything? Well if she was going out bashing people up, I'd say no, but who hasn't had some sort of lapse when they are stressed. Before we judge Nigella, lets ask whether we've ever done stupid things in times of stress. As it says in the bible, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".
I don't think anything Nigella has done, as revealed by the press, shows her to be anything other than a normal person, albiet a rather rich and at times silly one. She is probably one of the few celebrities I'd be quite happy to spend an evening at a dinner party with, not least because at least you'd get a decent bit of dinner. On Christmas day, lets not forget who Jesus preferred the company of, the sinners. Give me Nigella any day rather than the two faced hypocrites who snipe at her.