The full and pliant Nigella Lawson, world-famous cook, took the stand Wednesday in a London court. On trial are two of her former assistants, Italian sisters Lisa and Francesca Grillo, accused of spending nearly $1.15 million belonging to Nigella's ex-husband, ad man Charles Saatchi. (She and he divorced in July, after a very public incident in which he seemed to be choking her.) Those Italian ladies are callin' Nigella everything but a child of the Lord, including "drug addict."
Nigella said, yes, she's done cocaine a few times (with first husband, journo John Diamond, then dying of cancer). Pot, too, but she's no addict, she said. Saatchi testified he believes she is, but also said he never directly saw any evidence of it. She accused Saatchi of "intimate terrorism."
Inspirational singer and master of all universes Katy Perry is UNICEF's latest goodwill ambassador. Pioneered by Danny Kaye and Audrey Hepburn, this is a great post for kid's issues, held by celebs such as David Beckham, Harry Belafonte, Orlando Bloom, Jackie Chan, Mia Farrow, Danny Glover, Angelique Kidjo, Liam Neeson, Leo Messi, Sir Roger Moore, Vanessa Redgrave, and Susan Sarandon. Katy tunes such as "Firework" and "Roar" do encourage young folks, so it makes sense. UNICEF exec Anthony Lake said Katy'll go around talking about issues important to kids: "those living in severe poverty, affected by violence, abuse, and neglect, and in emergency and conflict situations."
MSNBC host Martin Bashir has quit after his icky barbs at author and inspirational speaker Sarah Palin drew ire all over. Joy-Ann Reid will fill in till someone figures out what to do. That's the second host to bail lately at the cabler. Alec Baldwin's exit was announced Nov. 26.
The marital smashup of Lauren Silverman, thanks to baby daddy Simon "Darth" Cowell (she's conspicuously big with what's assumed to be his spawn) is complete. She signed papers with now-ex (and ex-bff of Simon!) Andrew Silverman in NYC on Wednesday. E! News reports she plans to celebrate this weekend - with a baby shower. Cold!
On Monday, Vin Diesel went to the Valencia, Calif., site of the Nov. 30 crash in which his friend and Fast and Furious co-star Paul Walker died. Over a police squad-car loudspeaker, Diesel thanked the crowd for "showing that angel in heaven how much you appreciate him."
Keri Russell (Felicity; The Americans) woke up Wednesday to the sweet sound of thugs burglarizing her NYC pad. Two yeggs scrammed with a necklace, handbag, and laptop. Later, police caught a father-son team on suspicion. . . . Rap-hopper Drake announced at a Tuesday-night gig in Portland that he's signed with Michael Jordan's team to do ads for Nike. . . . Goodreads, the cool reading website, released its reader-voted top 10 best fiction titles of 2013: (1) And the Mountains Echoed, by Khalid Hosseini; (2) The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult; (3) Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes; (4) The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt; (5) The Husband's Secret, by Liane Moriarty; (6) Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline; (7) The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion; (8) The House Girl, by Tara Conklin; (9) A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki; and (10) Tenth of December, by the great George Sanders. Holiday reading and giving!