Italian sisters Francesca, left, and Elisabetta Grillo, right, former personal assistants (PA) to English broadcaster Nigella Lawson and her former husband art collector Charles Saatchi, leave the Isleworth Crown Court, in west London, Wednesday Nov. 27, 2013, where the Grillo sisters are standing trial over alleged fraud. The PA assistants are accused [auth] of committing fraud by abusing their positions and alllegedly using a company credit card for personal gain. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
LONDON (AP) — An accountant for celebrity chef Nigella Lawson and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi has told a fraud trial that two of their personal assistants spent on average 76,000 pounds ($124,000) a month using the couple’s credit cards.
The two assistants, Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, are accused of spending the couple’s money on hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of luxury clothing, handbags, first-class travel and hotel stays for themselves.
The sisters deny the charges.
Accountant Rahul Gajjar told jurors on Thursday he suspected the sisters’ spending habits but didn’t tell his employers because it was too trivial.
Earlier, a judge read an email from Saatchi in which he alleged that Lawson abused drugs extensively and allowed their staff to spend as long as they covered up her drug use.