November 29th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
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Charles Saatchi, the millionaire ex-husband of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, took the stand Friday at the trial of two former personal assistants accused of defrauding the couple.

The former assistants, Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, deny embezzling hundreds of thousands of pounds on company credit cards.

Saatchi described the sisters' roles as housekeeping, organizing the household and helping out with any tasks needed by the family. They were first employed by Lawson and then by his company, he said.

Saatchi, an art collector, said he was aware the two sisters were given credit cards in order to pay for household expenses. This was his ex-wife's idea, he told the court in west London.

Asked about the sisters' role when Lawson's children grew older, Saatchi said: "I'm very fond of Francesca and Lisa (Elisabetta) and they were part of our family ... The children were fond of them, we didn't want them to go, so they stayed with us as housekeepers and for general assistance."

The first witness in the case, Rahul Gajjar, an accountant for Saatchi, told the court Thursday that Francesca had 64,336.97 pounds ($104,500) in expenses on her company credit card in June 2012.

Read - Nigella Lawson's ex-husband testifies at aides' fraud trial

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