Nigella Lawson Barred From Boarding Flight to the US

By Colin Bertram
|  Thursday, Apr 3, 2014  |  Updated 2:06 PM EDT
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Nigella Lawson Barred From Boarding Flight to the US

AP

Celebrity chef, Nigella Lawson, arrives at Isleworth Crown Court in London, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson could face questions Wednesday about alleged drug use when she appears as a witness at the fraud trial of her former personal assistants. Lawson is due to testify as a prosecution witness against Italian sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo. The pair are accused of living the high life by using credit cards loaned to them by Lawson and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi.

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Celebrity cook Nigella Lawson was denied permission to board a flight to the U.S. on the weekend.

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed to NBC News that Lawson was stopped from boarding a flight to Los Angeles at London's Heathrow Airport. U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Lynne Platt told the Associated Press Thursday that Lawson was stopped from traveling Sunday and had subsequently been invited to the embassy in London to apply for a visa.

According to "Today," Lawson's ban is linked to her admission of past cocaine and marijuana use during a trial last year. Lawson was forced to testify at the fraud trial of two former assistants who worked for the "How To Be A Domestic Goddess" author and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi. The assistants were ultimately cleared by a London jury.

Lawson, 54, confirmed during the trial that she had tried cocaine and cannabis but no criminal charges or convictions resulted from Lawson's admission.

Lawson tweeted Saturday that she was going on vacation, but she has also worked in the U.S. British citizens need visas to work in the U.S. but not for a vacation.

Lawson co-hosted the TV cooking competition "The Taste" on ABC alongside fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain weighed in on Lawson's flight ban calling it cruel and hypocritical, and noted that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, an admitted crack smoker, has been allowed to travel to the U.S. from Canada.

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