January 02, 2014 9:51am PT by Hilary Lewis
Nigella Lawson Says Assistants-Trial Revelations Were 'Mortifying' (Video)
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson opened up about the recent fraud trial of two of her former personal assistants, in which she was alleged to have used cocaine, during an appearance Thursday on Good Morning America to promote the second season of ABC's The Taste.
Lawson, who co-hosts the cooking competition, said that the disclosures made during the trial were embarrassing.
"To have not only your private life, but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying," Lawson told GMA's Amy Robach.
She also lamented being unable to protect her loved ones from what occurred during the proceedings.
"My only desire really was to protect my children as much as possible, which I wasn't, alas … I couldn't do," she said.
Lawson slammed the proceedings for featuring a "ridiculous sideshow of false allegations about drug use which made focus on the actual criminal trial impossible," adding that she was "disappointed but unsurprised" by the verdict, in which the ex-assistants were acquitted of fraud after it was claimed that they used credit cards given to them by Lawson and her then-husband Charles Saatchi for personal expenses.
Lawson was a witness in the case, which forced her to respond to the drug-use allegations, and she admitted that at times she felt as if she were the one on trial.
"I did, but it's one of the niceties of the English legal system that you're not allowed any counsel if you're a witness. But maybe it will change, maybe that's good," she said.
Still, despite a difficult 2013 that also included a divorce from Saatchi after photos were published in which he appeared to be choking her at a restaurant, Lawson's not dwelling on her own struggles.
"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. "I've eaten a lot of chocolate, had a very good Christmas and I'm into the New Year."