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Nigella Lawson on Assistants' 'Mortifying' Fraud Trial

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Nigella Lawson spoke out about three-week fraud trial involving her two former assistants, which put her personal life in the spotlight and forced her to discuss her drug use in court, saying her concern throughout was to shield her children.

“My only desire really was to protect my children as much as possible which I wasn’t alas …I couldn’t do,” Lawson, 53, said Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America. “To have not only your private live, but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying.”

Last month, two of Lawson’s former employees were acquitted of fraud after allegations of using company credit cards for personal expenses. Lawson said she was “disappointed but unsurprised” by the verdict, saying the jury was presented with a “ridiculous sideshow of false allegations about drug use which made focus on the actual criminal trial impossible.”

Lawson, who was a witness in the case but forced to detail her drug use on the stand, said at times she did feel like she was 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.”

2013 was a rough year for the celebrity chef, who co-hosts The Taste on ABC. On top of the trial, Lawson split from her husband, advertising magnate Charles Saatchi, this past summer after disturbing photos were published of a man who appeared to be Saatchi clenching her throat outside a restaurant.

“There are people going through an awful lot worse and to dwell on any of it would be self-pity. 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,” Lawson said, laughing in an interview to promote the return of season 2 of The Taste.

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