'This Morning' TV Programme, London, Britain. - 07 Jan 2014

Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo tell ITV’s This Morning that their trial was mortifying for everyone involved, not just Nigella Lawson.

Nigella Lawson‘s former personal assistants have said they may have won their legal battle but the celebrity chef has won the hearts of the British public.

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo spoke to ITV This Morning following their acquittal in December on charges of fraudulently using company credit cards, spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on designer goods for themselves, while working as personal assistants to Lawson and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi.

The sisters claimed every purchase had been approved by their then bosses, and they were found not guilty by jurors at Isleworth crown court in west London.

“We have won the court case but definitely she had the most support from the public. She [Lawson] is well loved and she will always be loved and I am sure she will be fine,” Francesca Grillo, 35, told the programme on Tuesday. “She is great at what she is doing and I wish her all the best.”

Lawson, whose series The Taste starts on Tuesday evening on Channel 4, said last week that her only desire during the trial had been to protect her children but that she was unable to always do so.

The mother-of-two appeared on the US TV show Good Morning America to promote her new show and was asked about the court case in which allegations of drug-taking arose.

Asked what it was like to be a witness in the trial, Lawson said: “I can’t really remember exactly because you’re so focused on answering the questions to the best of your ability that actually you don’t really have an enormous awareness of yourself.

“Maybe that’s a good thing. My only desire really was to protect my children as much as possible which … alas I couldn’t always do.”

Lawson added that having details of her acrimonious split from the art dealer Saatchi talked about in court under the glare of the world’s media was mortifying.

Nigella Lawson On Good Morning AmericaNigella Lawson tells Good Morning America she felt herself to be on trial. She was not asked about the drug claims made against her in court. Photograph: Barcroft USA”To have not only your private life but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying, but there are people going through an awful lot worse and to dwell on any of it would be self-pity and I don’t like to do that,” she said.

She said she was looking towards the future. “Since then I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate, had a very good Christmas and am into the new year.”

Lawson admitted during the trial that she took cocaine with her late husband John Diamond when he found out he had terminal cancer, and in 2010 when she claimed she was being “subjected to intimate terrorism” by Saatchi. Police are to review her admission that she took the

The Grillos said on Tuesday it was brave of their former employer to admit during the trial that she had taken cocaine. The sisters said they did not feel guilty about Lawson giving evidence because their own “freedom was at stake”.

Francesca Grillo said: “It was tough but it was more tough to sit down in a dock and think, I might be in prison for a long time.”

She said of Lawson’s family affairs being aired publicly: “I felt sorry for all of us involved. We shouldn’t have reached that. But unfortunately you are in a position where your freedom is at stake so you have to tell your side of the story … I wish it didn’t happen, but I had to think about my freedom.”

She added: “We were in court not because of her drug use or because we wanted her to be punished. In admitting it, I think she was very brave to do so … but I didn’t feel guilty.

“It’s mortifying for her, it’s mortifying for us, it’s mortifying for everybody involved.”

Elisabetta said: “I feel sorry that we ended up in that situation, that she [Lawson] did admit to that. But no, not guilty, because it was nothing to do with me, it’s her life.”

Francesca said of being accused: “It’s like you wake up one morning and your mother says, ‘I’m not your mother any more, sorry. You’ve been with me all your life, but I don’t know you any more.'”

Elisabetta added: “There are no winners in this situation. All of us lost something.”

Francesca said it was too early for a reconciliation with Lawson. “It’s like a broken mirror – you can glue it back together but you see all the cracks.”

She said that when she was told of the jury’s verdict, her sister had a panic attack. “At that point I just wanted my sister to be well. I wasn’t very worried about the verdict.”





‘He got two shots… he was a bit of a mess’: Killer Raoul Moat’s sick boast after shooting Pc in the face

Callous killer Raoul Moat bragged how he left policeman David Rathband looking ‘a bit of a mess’ and then threatened to start killing innocent members of the public, his inquest has heard.

Moat, 37, shot and blinded Pc Rathband, 43, after blasting him twice from point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun as the defenceless officer sat in his traffic car at a roundabout.

In a series of chilling Dictaphone recordings, later recovered by police from the makeshift camp he set up in the Northumberland countryside, Moat recalls the shooting of Pc Rathband.

‘I’m not fussed about not killing him,’ he says. ‘I didn’t think I had killed him anyway. I was going to go along and finish him off but that’s not the point. He got two shots.

‘At the end of the day he’s looking a bit of a mess.’

Pc David Rathband
Raoul Moat, from Fenham, shot himself in the head and was fired at twice during the stand-off by officers armed with shotgun Tasers

Attack: Callous gunman Raoul Moat, right, described victim Pc Rathband’s face as a ‘bit of a mess’, left

A handout video still issued by Northumbria Police of Raoul Moat during his stand-off with police in Rothbury, Northumberland, in July 2010A handout video still issued by Northumbria Police of Raoul Moat during his stand-off with police in Rothbury, Northumberland, in July 2010

Moat acknowledged the Pc was not one of the officers he accused of ‘pushing’ him.

‘The officers know who they are, some of the officers have gone into hiding,’ he claimed in the tape.

Moat also said he would ‘take the shoot-out’ rather than go back to jail, an inquest heard today.

The gunman was on the run from police following the shootings of karate instructor Chris Brown, his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and Pc David Rathband when he made the vow.

In the message, the 37-year-old said he had lost the only two people who mattered to him – his grandmother and Miss Stobbart.

He said if he returned to jail he would have ‘nothing to come out to’ and that a shoot-out would mean ‘everybody’s happy’.

Raoul Moat, who died last year following a shooting spree in which he killed Chris Brown, and shot his former partner Samantha Stobbart and PC David Rathband
Former girlfriend of gunman Raoul Moat Samantha Stobbart

Conversation: Jurors listened to a recording of a telephone conversation Raoul Moat, left, had from Durham Prison to girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, pictured right today, on June 10 last year where she told him: ‘It’s over.’

Police officers photographed negotiating with fugitive Raoul Moat, circled, shortly before his death in Rothbury, West YorkshirePolice officers photographed negotiating with fugitive Raoul Moat, circled, shortly before his death in Rothbury, Northumberland
Police attempting to negotiate with Raoul Moat who shot himself in the head after a six-hour stand off Armed police attempting to negotiate with Raoul Moat who shot himself in the head after a six-hour stand off

The message was read out to the inquest at Newcastle Crown Court by Superintendent Jim Napier, the Northumbria Police officer in charge of the criminal investigation into Moat’s rampage.

He told John Beggs, cross-examining for Northumbria Police, that the recordings revealed Moat considered himself to have lost the only two adults he cared about.

In the message, Moat said: ‘If I went to jail now, I could hack it because I have lost everything and I have nothing to come out to.

‘I have come out and got my vengeance. I have set Sam up for life, financially at least. But it is not really what I want.

Raoul Moat, from Fenham, shot himself in the head and was fired at twice during the stand-off by officers armed with shotgun Tasers
Samantha Stobbart

Moat, left, killed his love rival Chris Brown, 29, in Birtley, Gateshead, in July last year, then blasted his ex-lover Samantha Stobbart, 22, right, leaving her in a critical condition


Durham Prison

Moat had this conversation from Durham Prison, pictured right, with Samantha Stobbart

He is heard asking her ‘what’s wrong?’

‘It’s over’, she replies.

‘Over what?’, he asks her.

‘I’ve had enough,’ she replies.

‘Of what?’, Moat asks.

‘Everything,’ she replied.

Moat adds: ‘We had one argument the other day. Let’s not get all silly about it.’

He complains that ‘everybody is getting on my case’ and that he is being ‘picked on’.

The conversation ends with the phone being abruptly slammed down.

‘It would be a waste of a life and a waste of the taxpayer’s money. Just take the shoot-out and everybody’s happy.’

Mr Napier said he took the message as an indication that Moat was contemplating provoking a shoot-out with police.

He said this knowledge informed the police reaction to the gunman when he was cornered.

Nowhere in the messages was there any mention of Moat’s ‘estranged’ family – specifically his tax inspector brother Angus or uncle Charlie Alexander, a former artilleryman, both of whom were at the inquest today.

The killer’s best friend also told the inquest today that Raoul Moat’s ex-lover deliberately wound him up hours before he launched his murderous rampage.

In a phone call Samantha Stobbart told the 37-year-old she was seeing her new boyfriend that night, that she had a new hair-do for the date and asked if he was jealous about it, Anthony Wright told the hearing.

Coroner David Mitford asked: ‘Was she deliberately trying to wind him up?’

Mr Wright, who knew Moat for 14 years from working as doormen together in Newcastle, replied: ‘Oh yes, without a shadow of a doubt.’

Moat had heard while in prison that his relationship with Ms Stobbart was over, and she had told him her new man was younger and could knock him out.

Mr Wright told the hearing: ‘It was almost inevitable that when he got out of prison he was going to look for a straightener with this man.

‘If you knew Raoul it was like a red rag to a bull. I couldn’t work out why she was saying it.’

Barristers for the Moat family, the chief constable of Northumbria Police, West Yorkshire Police officers, and Pro-Tec Limited, the firm that supplied new shotgun Taser weapons, were in court.

The inquest, which is expected to last five weeks, will focus on the events in Rothbury on July 9 and 10 when Moat was found, the coroner said.

There will be questions about weapons used, how police managed the incident, how officers dealt with the dead man and how he acted, the jury was told.

Yesterday the inquest heard how Moat said he was ‘full of beans’ after shooting dead Mr Brown and injuring Miss Stobbart.

Jurors were also played a recording of a phone calls made by Moat from Durham prison in which he was told by Miss Stobbart: ‘It’s over’.

The hearing continues.

love letter from the gun maniac
Moat hid in this storm water drain just yards from villager's homes when he was trying to evade capture from the policeMoat hid in this storm water drain just yards from villagers’ homes when he was trying to evade capture by the police
Steroid addict Raoul Moat shot and blinded Northumbria Police traffic officer PC David Rathband
Chris Brown who was killed by Raul Moat

Steroid addict Raoul Moat shot and blinded Northumbria Police traffic officer PC David Rathband, left, and killed his love rival Chris Brown, right. He also critically injured Samantha Stobbart

Police officers from Northumberland Police Marine Unit search drains near to the scene where gunman Raoul Moat took his own life
Forensic staff at the scene of Raoul Moat's suicide at the riverside in Rothbury after evading capture for a week

Investigation: Police officers from Northumberland Police Marine Unit search drains near to the scene where gunman Raoul Moat took his own life, left, and forensic staff examine evidence at the scene of the suicide


Thursday, July 1: Moat is released from Durham prison after serving 18 weeks for assault

Friday, July 2: Prison staff warn police Moat may want to harm Samantha Stobbart

Saturday, July 3: Moat shoots dead Miss Stobbart’s new boyfriend Chris Brown outside her home in Birtley, Gateshead and also injures her. Manhunt is launched for Moat

Sunday, July 4: Pc David Rathband is shot in his patrol car and critically injured. Moat rings officers claiming Miss Stobbart was having an affair with a police officer

Monday, July 5: Manhunt for Moat continues

Tuesday, July 6: Moat’s car is discovered in Rothbury, Northumberland and police flood the area setting up a two-mile exclusion zone. A letter written by Moat reveals his intentions to declare war on the police

Wednesday, July 7: Officers find a tent where Moat had been sleeping and another letter from him

Thursday, July 8: Police say Moat had made threats to the general public and two men were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and bailed

Friday, July 9: At 7pm Moat comes out from his hiding place and reporters watch as he lies on the ground with a gun threatening to kill himself. Police try to negotiate with him for six hours

Saturday, July 10: A gunshot is heard at 1.10am and Moat is declared dead after being rushed to hospital. Police said Moat appeared to have killed himself

Armed police stopped hundreds of motorists when they stood guard on the edge of Rothbury during the search for MoatArmed police stopped hundreds of motorists when they stood guard on the edge of Rothbury during the search for Moat
Police officers scoured the countryside for days in the hunt for missing Raoul Moat who went on the run after shooting dead karate instructor Chris Brown, 29, and maiming Moat's ex-girlfriend Samantha StobbartPolice officers scour the countryside in the hunt for Moat after he went missing following the shootings of Chris Brown and Samantha Stobbart
The man-hunt for Moat stretched for miles and went on for days and involved hundreds of police officers The man-hunt for Moat went on for days covering large swathes of the countryside around Rothbury and involved hundreds of police officers


The coroner said there would be questions about weapons used and how police managed the incident during the inquestThe coroner said there would be questions about weapons used and how police, pictured trying to negotiate with Moat, managed the incident

The inquest jury heard a recording of a telephone call Moat made in which he threatened to kill Northumbria Police officers.

In the five-minute conversation, made to a police call handler shortly before Moat blasted Northumbria Police traffic officer Pc David Rathband, the gunman said he was ‘not coming in alive’.

He said he had taken two hostages and would kill them and any police officer that approached him.

He said he was sorry he had injured his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, leaving her in a critical condition in hospital, but blamed police for ‘stitching him up’ and triggering his rampage.

He said he believed karate instructor Chris Brown was a Northumbria Police officer.

He says in the recording: ‘Hello there, this is the gunman from Birtley last night.

‘What I’m phoning about is, is to tell you exactly why I have done what I have done, right?

‘Now, my girlfriend has been having an affair behind my back with one of your officers.

‘This gentleman that I shot last night, the karate instructor, right, now I…

‘Youse bastards have been on to me, right, for years.

‘Youse have hassled us, harassed us, youse just won’t leave us alone.

‘I went straight six years ago when I met her and I have tried my best to have a normal life and you just won’t let up.

‘Youse won’t leave us alone for five minutes.

‘I can’t drive down the street without the blue lights flashing.

‘Youse have stitched us up for years; you have been in court, stitching us up, so the fact of the matter is, right…

‘She has had an affair with one of your officers.

‘If he had not been a police officer, I would not have shot him.’

Talking about his relationship with Miss Stobbart, he said: ‘I have had nothing but grief… But I have had a genuine relationship with her for six years, which is why we have stayed together, and I have gone straight.

‘I have had a totally legit life with her, I have opened a business, and I have been shafted.

‘You police have took too much off me over the years.’

‘Youse won’t leave us alone.

‘And now youse think you can take me missus.’

The call continues: ‘But the fact of the matter is I’m not coming in alive. Youse have hassled me for so many years. If you come anywhere near me I’ll kill youse. I have got two hostages at the moment, right – come anywhere near me and I’ll kill them as well.

‘I’m coming to get youse.
‘I’m not on the run.
‘I’m coming to get you.’

He continues by saying Miss Stobbart had changed while he was in jail.

The call ends: ‘Right. Now I have had enough. I have had enough of youse.
‘That jail made us unwell. I came out a different kid, y’knaa what I mean?

‘I lost everything through youse, right?
‘Youse just won’t leave us alone, right?
‘So at the end of the day, youse killed me and him before that trigger was ever pulled.’

Call handler: ‘Right.’
Moat: ‘Y’knaa what I mean?’
CH: ‘OK.’
Moat: ‘Youse are…’
CH: ‘We are trying to help you.’

Moat: ‘You’re not trying to help us, you’re not trying. Youse wanted me to do myself in and I was going to do it till I found out about him properly and what was going on – and as soon as I found out he was one of your officers I thought, ‘nah, youse have had too much from me’.

‘You will get your chance to kill us, right, you will get your chance to kill us.’

CH: ‘Right, we don’t want to do that, we don’t want to do that.’

Moat: ‘Aye, youse wanted me to kill myself but I’m gonna give youse a chance cos I’m hunting for officers now, right?’

CH: ‘No. Please don’t do that.
‘We don’t want any more killing, all right?’

Moat then hangs up.