Nigella Lawson’s aides were sent to buy copies of Charles Saatchi’s books in order to get them on bestseller lists, a court has been told.
The claim was made during the court testimony of Elisabetta Grillo, who was a housekeeper for Lawson for over a decade and is currently standing trial accused of defrauding Saatchi out of £105,000.
When asked about cash withdrawals made on a corporate credit card, Grillo said: “I took cash out to pay for different things, to pay my phone bill, I also took cash out to pay for books because Charles wanted to push it up the bestsellers lists.
“I took out £200 and we would go around different stores across London four times a week, Waterstones and also Amazon. All of the staff had to do it.”
Grillo said she would tour London stores for books up to four times a week. Books written by Saatchi include Babble and My Name is Charles Saatchi and I am an Artoholic.
Grillo, 41, denies the charges against her. She is standing trial with sister Francesca Grillo, 35, who denies fraudulently spending £580,000.
The trial has heard a series of claims and counter claims about events during the Grillos’ time working for Lawson.
Elisabetta Grillo accused Lawson of lying to the court after claiming she took cocaine only once during her marriage to Charles Saatchi. Grillo claimed to have found evidence of cocaine use “every three days” when working for Lawson.