Nigella Lawson was reported to be in hiding last night following the discovery of documents linking her to the infamous Mafia don, Beltrano Balisteri, known to the Italian underworld as ‘The Raven’.
The shocking announcement was made after Italian police raided Balisteri’s isolated country villa on the outskirts of Florence last weekend.
Nigella says in her TV show, Nigelissima that her gap year was spent ‘working as a chambermaid in Florence’, and that she regards Italy as “her spiritual home.” She also insists that she is not “pretending to BE Italian.” However the latest revelations are likely to cast doubt on all of these claims.
Amongst the documents discovered by police is a handwritten cookbook by the TV temptress containing the Don’s favourite dishes and a personal dedication, ‘To my Raven from your raven haired Pussycat.’ The recipes include Mama’s Horse Head Marinade, Italian Finger Dips, Limb Stew and Cosa Nostra Chicken. A series of semi-pornographic doodles also accompany the don’s favourite dishes ‘Genoa Salami and ‘Pisa Banana Tutti Frutti.’
The BBC has said it is "horrified" over claims that the TV chef has connections with the Mafia and insists that the premises have not been used by members of the Italian underworld.
In a statement, the BBC said it had asked its investigations unit to contact Italian police and "offer full support" to any investigations.