updated 12/05/2013 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/05/2013 AT 12:25 PM ET
“I would rather be honest, if ashamed, and explain the drug usage, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to be bullied [with] lies,” the celebrity chef, 53, said at the fraud trial of two former assistants, according to the Telegraph.
“I am not proud of the fact that I have taken drugs, but that does not make me a drug addict or a habitual drug user,” she added.
The defendants, Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, claim Lawson regularly abused cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs and allowed them to spend her family’s money freely in exchange for their silence.
In Lawson’s testimony Thursday, she also described life behind closed doors with ex-husband Charles Saatchi.
Dressed in all black and accompanied by her brother Dominic, Lawson admitted to a penchant for all things Italian and describing her group of helpers and assistants as “Team Cupcake.”
“It had the feeling of sisterhood,” she said.
Lawson noticeably bristled when defense lawyer Karina Arden characterized her as “the lady of the house.” She replied: “I don’t think it’s the job of the woman to run the house. It’s the duty of whoever lives there.”
Lawson described how Saatchi, 70, had a regular routine where he came down to breakfast of weak tea and deliberately burnt toast. Francesca Grillo organized his frapaccinos and paid particular attention to the purchase of his eggs, Lawson said.
“He’s a person with a tremendous eye for detail – he would point out marks” the cleaners had missed, Lawson said of Saatchi.
The Grillo sisters deny the fraud charges.
Reporting by CARIS DAVIS