Nigella Lawson Trial: How Courtroom Artists Show Her Inner And Outer Turmoil
NIGELLA Lawson v her now former personal assistants Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo was pretty entertaining for anyone not directly involved in the matter. Nigella did enjoy being pulled apart in court with no right of reply; and the sisters look too stressed to morph their new-found fame into a stint in the celebrity jungle.
The upshot is that we now know that the Grillos did not defraud the couple of hundreds of thousands of pounds. We also know that a woman who appears on the telly – who comes into your homes, where our kids live – has taken an illegal drug or two. Clean-living journalists and, lest it go unsaid, the moralising artists who seek patronage with Nigella’s ex-husband Charles Saatchi, were appalled and awe-struck.
We learnt many more terrible things about Nigella.
As the tabloids raked muck and the knowing broadsheets hid their joy with the gory details buried in deep and worthy meaning, like the Guardian’s “Drug use in the paradisical ponds of Chelsea? That is the cognitive dissonance that maims” and the Indy’s “It would be desperately sad if the original Domestic Goddess wound up a major casualty of the Having It All generation, but it would make a certain bitter sense”, all eyes were on the famous woman.
But we never saw how she looked in court. Others did. Courtroom artists Priscilla Coleman and Elizabeth Cook, whose work we have profiled here, were there.
This is Elizabeth Cook’s version of Nigella giving evidence at Isleworth Crown Court.
And this is Priscilla Coleman’s tableau:
I can’t help wonder which portrait Nigella would be the happier with – Cook’s, in which the emotion and focus is with Nigella; she is alone before the eyes of the moustachioed Judge Robin Johnson (eyes wrapped in overlarge truth-seeking ‘bins’) – or Coleman’s, wherein a flawless Nigella arouses emotion in others – the fresh-faced, judge looks deeply moved, perhaps even a tad lovelorn (understandable to blush) and the three seated hairpieces look arch (dark-haired woman), inspired (blonde) and captivated (his eyeline betrays many thoughts)?
Both pictures are marvellous. And both tell their own stories.