Nigella Lawson's Legal Nightmares

After an ugly divorce, the TV chef awaits a jury's verdict in former assistants' embezzlement trial.
3:00 | 12/20/13

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Transcript for Nigella Lawson's Legal Nightmares
Court watchers tell us we are just hours away now from a verdict in a trial that has riveted many americans and has entirely transfixed people across the pond. The case involves nigela lawson, british celebrity chef and domestic goddess, who like martha stewart and paula deen before her is in reputational hot water. Lama hasan takes us inside a courtroom showdown. Reporter: Celebrity chef, nigela lawson on the hot seat for the past three weeks, front and center of a fraud trial that isn't even about her. A case that involves her beloved former assistants, accused of embezzling more than $1 million of nigela's money. But a grilling in the courtroom has been spilling some dirty little secrets about the tv cook. Forcing her to confess she had taken cocaine. And to use her word, smoked the odd joint. In court, nigela found herself in the witness box as a key witness. She strolled in the five inch heels, knee-high boots. Went in meaning business. Physically rolled up her sleeves. Gripped the box and gave the oratory. The daughter of a british politician, nigela started as a restaurant critic 20 years ago. By 1998 she published her first book "how to eat." Having people around my table makes me really happy. Reporter: A year later the tv show that made her famous. Nigela bites. So easy and yet so perfect. Then this summer making headlines with these pictures. Not quite domestic bliss. Snapped at a london restaurant with her husband, 70-year-old ad mogul. Sarchi brushed it off as a tiff. Their marriage soon started unraveling when her family's long term personal assistant, were accused of swindling the company credit card to the tune of $1 million. Sarchi alleged she was a drug user, dubbing her higela. Saying in an e mail, you were so off your head on drugs you allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked and yes, i believe every word they have said. Later, backtracking and claiming that he never saw any evidence of nigela taking drugs. Responding to that e-mail which sarchi sent his ex-wife, calling her higela, he said, I was just being nasty. This isn't a very pleasant e-mail. But I was very, very upset. Her reputation has also been on the line. I actually felt that from a branding point of view, this was someone who was showing confidence. And showing a bit of british, stiff upper lip, kind of idea. Going in as a woman in her own right. I think that was a powerful imagine terms of tv. For ten hours she chose to stand giving evidence, two days, refusing to sit for the whole duration. It was a kitchen. She tells people, directs, tells people what she wants them to hear. She was going to stand for the time to get her message across. How would you say she came across? She stood up to give her evidence the whole time. She dent sidn't sit down. She seemed very business like. She tried to project her voice. She did a great job of that. She seemed to connect with everyone asking her questions. Reporter: Nigela accused her former husband of a witch-hunt in an effort to save his reputation. And savage hers. He said to me that if I didn't go back, and clear his name, he would destroy me. I freed myself from a brilliant, but brutal man. Then adding fuel to the fire. Her former assistants turned their back on her in court. Claiming she lied abut her cocaine use. Francesco, testifying she saw nigela with white powder around her nose, and bank notes rolled up, covered in powder lying around the house. Though both sisters admitted they never saw nigela doing drugs, just evidence of drug use in her home. This isn't the first time a legal proceeding tripped up a domest domestic doyenne. Martha stewart was charged with insider trading after a six week trial and media circus. What was a small personal matter became over the last two years, an almost fatal circus event of unprecedented proportions. Reporter: A jury found her guilty of league to investigators. She served five months in federal prison. After her release. Welcome to martha's cooking school. Reporter: She went straight back to work and her brand remains powerful. A very different outcome for paula deen, the belle of southern cooking. Bigger than a tablespoon. That its a good start. Reporter: Who faced accusations that she had used racial slurs. When a former employee sued for racial and sexual discrimination. A first apology offered on youtube did not go well. I want to apologize to everybody. For the wrong that I have done. Reporter: A judge tossed the racial bias part of the case. And deen settled sexual discrimination charges. I love you've. Reporter: The damage was done. The food network canceled deen's show. She retains a loyal following. Deen lost $12 million in endorsements. As for nigela, the question is whether her cooking crown remains intact. It is really important in this case. Because the the world is watching her. They're watching her to see do we still trust her? Scan weep trust this woman's reputation in terms of her brand. Now, I believe that -- that so far, that, what has been revealed in, the court proceedings, that this is a woman who had put forward her case. From her poepoint of view of in a very clear way. So far the court of public opinion seems to be in nigela's favor. A poll for a british newspaper, found that 39% had more sympathy for her. Even the prime minister of the country is declaring he is on team nigela. David cameron was quoted saying I am a massive fan. I am an amateur cook. I like her recipes. The judge asked the jury to disregard sccameron's comments. Nigela surrounded herself with a close knit circle of advisers, team cupcake. Sarchi in score the by himself. No one to consult with. He reportedly asked a stranger to rae to rate his performance. A verdict expected as early as tomorrow. So far, team cupcake seems to be coming out on top. But the proof as they say will be in the pudding. This is the new competition. The next scheduled appearance is on abc's "the taste" early in the new year. Lama hasan, in london. Our thanks ls to lama hasan.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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