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'The Taste' to still premiere in January despite Nigella Lawson drug abuse allegations


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/27/2013 

ABC has confirmed it doesn't plan to cancel or delay the second season of The Taste despite the current controversy surrounding judge Nigella Lawson.

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Lawson's two former assistants Francesca Grillo and Elisabetta Grillo claimed in court Tuesday the famous chef, 53, has been abusing cocaine, cannabis and prescription pills for more than 10 years, however, ABC apparently isn't acting on the case or accusations against Lawson, People reported.

"The show will air as planned beginning January 2," a network representative told People of the new season, which was already filmed in Los Angeles this past fall.

A U.K. representative for Lawson, 53, said he "can't comment during live proceedings." But the case's prosecutor reportedly told the court, "This is a totally scurrilous account which has been raised by the defense."

"What utter horse---t! #TeamNigella," Lawson's fellow The Taste judge Anthony Bourdain tweeted Wednesday.

The controversy began last year when the Grillo sisters were arrested and charged with swindling Lawson's ex-husband Charles Saatchi, 70, out of nearly $500,000. The girls reportedly claimed Lawson allowed them to use Saatchi's company credit card in return for their silence about her alleged drug abuse.      

According to People, a judge told the Grillo sisters they could use their "bad character" claims as part of their defense against Lawson, who may, as a result, be cross-examined about any alleged drug issues.

Lawson "essentially would consent to" the sisters spending money on vacations, designer handbags, etc, "on the understanding that there would be no disclosure to her husband of her usage," Elisabetta's lawyer reportedly told a London court.

Saatchi sent Lawson a letter last month saying he believed "every word the Grillos said" about their excessive spending because "you were off your head on drugs," People reported.

Lawson recently tweeted thanks to everyone who has been supporting her and is on her team.

Lawson and Saatchi got divorced in July after 10 years of marriage. They reportedly split after photos surfaced in June appearing to show Saatchi physically assaulting his wife in a restaurant. 

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