Plumptious TV cook Nigella Lawson was unceremoniously booted from a flight to the U.S. this week. Why? The Daily Mail (which is, let's be clear, not the most reliable of news sources) is reporting that the domestic goddess was denied a seat on a plane because of her admission during an unrelated court case in the U.K. last year that she had done cocaine seven times and smoked some weed.
Technically, U.S. law declares foreigners who have committed drug offenses "inadmissible" to the country, even if—as in Lawson's case—they never faced any legal proceedings at home or abroad.
Lawson isn't the first person to be barred at the border for old, otherwise unremarkable drug confessions. But getting back into the U.S. will be time-consuming and/or expensive for the host of the American food game show, The Taste.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security told the Daily Mail:
In general, an alien found inadmissible will need a waiver of inadmissibility….Depending on the basis of their refusal they may be eligible to apply in advance of travel for a temporary waiver of inadmissibility. The waiver application process can be lengthy.
Lawson's take on her drug use at the time seems quite sensible:
While insisting she had never been an addict or habitual user of drugs, she confirmed she had taken cocaine.
She said she needed the drugs to cope with the death of her first husband, John Diamond, and the 'intimate terrorism' of her second, [Charles] Saatchi.
The TV cook also described how she 'smoked the odd joint' of cannabis in the last year of her marriage to Mr Saatchi to make 'an intolerable situation tolerable'.
But she maintained that she was now drug-free, telling the jury: 'I did not and do not have a drug problem, I had a life problem. I decided to address that.'
It also sounds pretty familiar:
I had grown tired of trying to untangle a mess that wasn't of my making. I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though….
Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd be headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man. Except the highs hadn't been about that, me trying to prove what a down brother I was. Not by then anyway. I got just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory.
Only slightly related: You should really bake Nigella's chocolate Guinness cake.