Charles Saatchi remains on the warpath. Over the weekend he launched a new character assassination on his former wife.
In the latest twist in the saga, Saatchi attacked Nigella Lawson's parenting skills after she admitted in the recent court case to taking drugs in front of her child.
Mr Saatchi, 70, said in a statement issued on Saturday, London time: ''The truth is that she was taking illegal drugs secretly throughout the last few years of our marriage, often with her own child when she was far too young to even smoke or drink.''
Apparently upset that Lawson, who was in Spain on holiday after celebrating her 54th birthday, was winning the public relations battle, Saatchi added of her drug use: ''That this practice seems to be considered acceptable behaviour in sections of the press is deeply disturbing, as is the notion that you can teach your children that drugs are a justifiable way to make 'an unbearable situation bearable'.''
The outburst was in contrast with his testimony at Isleworth Crown Court in November, during the trial of two sisters accused - and subsequently cleared - of defrauding him.
During the trial, Saatchi testified: ''I have never, never seen any evidence of Nigella taking any drugs whatsoever.''
His latest comments come after hearing Lawson's own evidence.
In her testimony, she admitted smoking cannabis in front of her children. She also said she took cocaine on six occasions, to help her cope with her first husband John Diamond's terminal cancer and latterly as her marriage to Saatchi began to break down.
The television cook vehemently denied claims she regularly took drugs.
The couple's marriage disintegrated after publication of photographs in June showing Saatchi with his hands around Lawson's throat during an argument at Scott's, a restaurant in Mayfair.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt Saatchi gave the restaurant staff more than £1000 ($1830) to share among themselves as a Christmas present. ''Charles was very grateful for all the help that they had given him throughout the year,'' one of his friends said.