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Nigella Lawson denied entry into U.S.

The U.S. has denied TV chef Nigella Lawson entry because of her drug use admissions. She went to Heathrow Airport in London to board a flight to Los Angeles, to appear as a judge on The Taste, and was denied boarding because the U.S. denied her entry.
Here's the news story in the U.K. Daily Mail newspaper:

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  1. Oh for godssake. What is wrong with people.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Teague

      What's wrong with who? Which are the people you are referring to?

      1. re: Teague

        My conclusion on what's wrong is the fact that people like to jump to conclusions with no factual support.

      2. They probably could've just as likely banned her looking sickly emaciated in that photo.

        I feel for her.

        No joy in seeing others downtrodden. For whatever reason.

          1. re: Firegoat

            I am not trying to infuse politics into this thread.

            I also have read that Sasha and Malia Obama are big Bieber fans. Makes sense, age wise at least. . . (don't ask me about my new kids on the block fan crush way back when please. . .)

            1. re: Firegoat

              Yeah, I've had enough of the Biebs myself.

              1. re: linguafood

                Seems to be some Because We Can law. Russell Brand, Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse have all been fairly recently denied entry for drug use, but it seems more an inconvenience than anything.

                1. re: ennuisans

                  Amy Winehouse died two yrs ago so I doubt that.

                  1. re: daislander

                    I did say "fairly recently". 2008.

                  2. re: ennuisans

                    We don't mind you not letting Russel and Lily in as long as you promise to keep Piers Morgan.

                2. Shocking. Did coke and pot in front of her kids! I won't say anything so this dosnt get edited but wow my opinion of her just changed alot.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: daislander

                    Not so sure she did the coke in front of the kiddies.

                  2. I admit that it's really stupid, but it's not like the US was the first to do so. After all, the UK banned Snoop Dogg & Chris Brown for similar reasons. I'm just amazed that Keith Richards & Anthony Bourdain get to travel anywhere. Why is she coming on the visa waiver program, anyway? Given that she comes for work, shouldnt she be traveling under a different kind of visa?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kalivs

                      Good question. For all we know, that could be the actual reason why she was refused entry, for previous abuse of the VWP.

                    2. It seems very hypocritical seeing that so many other celebrities are known to be drug users. I doubt the authorities even know if she is still taking drugs into her system. I'm not condoning her past behaviour, but this seems a bit excessive.

                      1. The Daily Mail goes out of their way to find any possible excuse to badmouth anyone, for any reason, and if it involves a foreign country, they're positively giddy.

                        She wasn't even charged, let alone convicted, of drug use...

                        There's a whole lot more to this story than has been printed, which is utterly in line with the Mail's standard business practices.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: sunshine842

                          You're right about the Mail. I mean it was an immigartion story after all and they do love banging on about immigration.

                          1. re: Paprikaboy

                            Ah, yes. The Daily Mail and immigration? Based on their normal editiorial policy, you would expect fullsome praise for the American authorities in refusing entry to, well, anyone.

                        2. Haven't seen this broadcast in any American online/print publication....the capriciousness of this "decision" (as many posters have noted) is super troubling.
                          Not to champion Nigella, but using these terms (admitting to past drug use), you'd have to deny entry to 95% of musicians, celebs, etc etc

                          10 Replies
                            1. re: pinehurst

                              there is nothing factual in that article other than the observation that she didn't get on the flight, she retrieved her bags, and that she didn't look happy:

                              "She is thought to have checked in and passed security before being told she could not board her plane."

                              Nobody actually knows.

                              "Miss Lawson is thought to have tried to enter the U.S. by registering online for permission to travel and confirming she had not been arrested or convicted of offences including taking illegal drugs"

                              "is thought" is not a fact.

                              "The specific grounds on which she was barred entry to the US have not been confirmed. And it is not known if she was stopped at passport control or at the departure gate where passports are often scanned."

                              No comment necessary.

                              " The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s customs and border protection department said it could not comment on individual cases...A spokesman for Miss Lawson said: ‘We would never comment on Nigella’s travel plans.’...A BA spokesman said: ‘Due to data protection laws, we cannot comment on individual customers.’"

                              So this article might as well just say "Nigella Lawson didn't board her plane to the US -- we have no idea why, but we're short on stuff to talk about today, so we figure making shit up and talking out of our ass when we really don't know what we're yammering on about will fill column space"

                              Sympathetic to Nigella and getting out of the grasp of that cretin Saatchi, but not defending using drugs, especially in front of her kids...but let's be realistic -- the Mail is talking out of their ass on this one.

                              ETA: crossposted with Firegoat...but there's still not enough detail -- and I'm with Bourdain -- seriously? You let Toronto mayor Rob Ford in, who's been videotaped in various episodes being under a LOT of chemical influence of one sort or the other, but you ban Nigella? REALLY?!

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Oh, but the mayor of Toronto is a politician, from a friendly neighbor, and besides, he's Far more entertaining than Nigella, who only cooks good food and shows some cleavage. <sarcasm alert engaged>

                                1. re: mcsheridan

                                  Admittedly, nobody here wants to see Rob Ford's cleavage.

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      Eeeeeeuuuuuw! Where's the brain bleach?

                                    2. re: mcsheridan

                                      (Ford is on the right...)

                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                      that's a rehash of the Mail article.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        yes. but with a better picture of the lovely Nigella.

                                  1. Well there must be some truth to it, because Tony tweeted about it.

                                    7 Replies
                                        1. re: Bellachefa

                                          I was hoping it was.

                                          Full disclosure: I heart Anthony Bourdain...but since when is anything true just because he tweeted it??

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            Um maybe because they are good friends and colleagues that presently share a television show so would be on the inside track. Um maybe because he has more integrity then to tweet about rumors of someone he admires without knowing there is some truth to the story? Um, maybe because he chooses his words with great care and wouldn't jump on the rumour bandwagon? Um

                                              1. re: Bellachefa

                                                if it makes you feel better to believe all that, knock yoruself out.

                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                  not clear what your issue with me is. I simply reported that Tony was tweeting.

                                                  Tony has made many public statements about his friend, co star and co producer. If you think he would jump on twitter before making a few phone calls or emails to his circle, then you choose to be naive. Knock yourself out.

                                      1. Well then over most of the musical groups and performers should not be admitted either. This stinks and sounds like a vendetta of some kind.

                                        1. Doing drugs for fun with your friends is much different then snorting coke in front of your kids. Speaks to your character.

                                          Ive been to concerts many times, you show up and show is cancelled for someone not getting over the boarder.

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: daislander

                                            Nobody knows whether she actually ever snorted coke in front of her kids.

                                            Personally, I find that very, very hard to believe.

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              The article may be wrong but it said she said so in a court or law.

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  I can only find two papers saying this. I don't care who does drugs. Its just coke in front of the kids thing that I find very wrong. Sad.

                                                2. re: daislander

                                                  "...forced to confess under oath during a trial last year that she had snorted cocaine seven times and smoked cannabis in front of her children."

                                                  Two separate things.

                                                  1. re: ennuisans

                                                    Ah, thanks for clarifying. Aren't her "children" adults? Do we know how old they were when she smoked weed in front of them or with them?

                                                  2. re: daislander

                                                    It did not. She admitted to using cocaine. Also admitted she smoked pot in the presence of her kids.

                                                3. re: daislander

                                                  I agree with your statements, but still believe the US policy is flawed. Admitting to a crime (or to immoral behavior) is not the same as being convicted of a crime. Again, how many celebrities have done drugs in front of their kids....I remember Melanie Griffith stating somewhere she'd want her kids' fledging drug flight to be with her, so they wouldn't learn from some stranger. Ban everyone or no one; it's the picking and choosing that makes me nuts.

                                                4. I find this bizarre if she has no conviction.
                                                  I highly suspect her ex hubby with the vendetta and shit loads of money that doesn't want her to be successful without him is behind it.
                                                  With Ford, Beiber and everyone else coming into the country and her with no convictions... sounds hokey to me.

                                                  11 Replies
                                                    1. re: daislander

                                                      she was not charged, tried, or convicted for any drug-related activity.

                                                    2. re: Firegoat

                                                      Agreed. Charles' venom runs deep and his purse is even deeper.

                                                      1. re: ElsieB

                                                        How do you propose it happens that Charles Saatch, a wealthy advertising man with a few 100mm gets the USA to ban his x wife, the lovely Nigella Larson from entering the country?

                                                        A phone call to Sec of State, Kerry, a Dep Sec.?

                                                        You ban Nigella and we won't let Michael Vick visit the UK?

                                                        What are the actual mechanics of Saatchi doing this? And do you think that USA officials would be complicit?

                                                        1. re: 9lives

                                                          naaah, the old fashioned way -- he greases the wheels at the local level.

                                                          She didn't get on the plane...that would indicate something happened on the UK end...

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            Obviously whatever happened happened in the UK, but the US authorities routinely prevent people from boarding US-bound flights at foreign airports.

                                                            Is there really any inkling of evidence, anywhere, that Saatchi was in any way involved in this incident?

                                                            1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                              none whatsoever -- but it certainly isn't impossible, and it certainly wouldn't be the first time something similar would have happened.

                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                Not impossible is not very persuading as an argument for something.

                                                                I don't know any uk immigration agents but I highly doubt that they would be derelict in their duties..simply to please a prominent, wealthy ad man...nor would I think they would appreciate someone accusing them of it with no evidence.

                                                                But wtf, you "like" nigell and don't like saatchi...

                                                                1. re: 9lives

                                                                  would you take a few steps backward, please?

                                                                  I'm not the one who dropped the theory about Saatchi doing something for revenge...I just commented on it.

                                                                  You're right -- I don't like him -- I don't like people who verbally and physically abuse people they pretend to love.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    Sorry for pursuing this. No offense intended. Step back taken.

                                                                    FWIW, and I have no info that everyone else doesn't have re Nigella and Saatchi,.

                                                                    love Nigella and think Saatchi is an ahole, who has clearly behaved like one. However, unless other info comes to
                                                                    Light, he doesn't seem to have anything to do with this one. Even if he is an ahole, that doesn't make him involved every time a misfortune strikes Nigella

                                                          2. re: 9lives

                                                            The NY Post, whose article contains much speculation and no facts od more original ideas than we have here weighs in.



                                                            IF..and tha's a big if, Saatchi asked for the favor and had it granted, that makes 2 or more scumbags to grant the favor.

                                                      2. Yeah, they're getting it fixed seems like:


                                                        The US embassy has "invited" her to apply for a visa, sorry for the fuss, love your wardrobe.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: ennuisans

                                                          Brits need a visa to enter the US?

                                                          I'll be damned....

                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            sort of.

                                                            Brits (and French and German and all other residents of the Schengen area) have to apply for a ESTA visa *waiver*.

                                                            If you want to live and/or work for more than a few weeks in the US, then you have to have a visa.

                                                            I'm guessing that the issuance of a visa will mean that she can completely sidestep the entire ESTA issue and simply enter and exit the US without further questions.

                                                        2. I wouldn't have denied her entry into the U.S., but an extra check of her bags might have been warranted.

                                                          1. Hmmm,...wonder if we'll ever see Keith Richards again....

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: NE_Wombat

                                                              I wave every time I pass his estate in CT.

                                                              1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                I meant after one of his regular exits from the US - I'm not whether he spends more time in CT or UK.

                                                              2. re: NE_Wombat

                                                                Could be that he has US citizenship (dual UK/US). I mean it's not impossible.

                                                              3. One of the burdens of celebrity is that one's failures are exposed. Comes with the territory.

                                                                She has my sympathy, but she did do what she did.

                                                                Would anyone let her slide because she is a "star"?

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: sal_acid

                                                                  Yes. And because she's drop dead gorgeous.

                                                                2. Guess I'm not the only one who speculated her crazy ex Saatchi might be involved.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                    NY Post had speculated that last week.

                                                                    I posted upthread on it