NIGELLA LAWSON and husband Charles Saatchi spent [pounds]600 a month on window cleaning and [pounds]800 a month on cleaning silver at their home, a court heard yesterday. The bill emerged as one of their former personal assistants accused of defrauding them said she was given a bank card to withdraw her own salary and buy "anything I wanted". Francesca Grillo , 35, said she was given a bank card on being employed by art dealer Mr Saatchi more than a decade ago, with the instruction to withdraw her [pounds]300 a week wages and to buy anything she or the family needed. Grillo, who, along with older sister Elisabetta, denies fraud, told Isleworth Crown Court , in London , that she played a key role in the lives of Mr Saatchi , Ms Lawson and the children, including housekeeping, shopping, taking the children to school and cooking meals. Francesca said: "He gave me a card with my name on it. It was a Nat West card (with wages of [pounds]300 a week) to be withdrawn weekly. I was told to buy whatever I wanted with that card. "I have never had a contract of employment. That arrangement lasted for four years until I was put on the payroll. "I was never given strict rules. Charles just said, 'There is your card'. I was to buy food for the house, laundry, anything the children wanted, anything Nigella or Charles wanted. When asked, I could get myself anything. Anything to do with furnishing my flat, travel. . ." The defendants are accused of spending [pounds]685,000 on credit cards belonging to the celebrity couple to buy designer goods and luxury holidays. The court was told that the bill for cleaning the silver was [pounds]800 a month because it "tarnished quickly" and had to be polished fortnightly.
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