Nigella Lawson takes a break for dinner date with Sir Salman Rushdie

Nigella Lawson was seen enjoying a night out with the 66-year-old author

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The Independent Online

How to relieve the pressures of a dramatic court battle and a volatile break-up from a PR-proofed multi-millionaire?

Go on a dinner date with Sir Salman Rushdie, of course.

Nigella Lawson was seen enjoying a night out with the 66-year-old Satanic Verses author at Indian restaurant Gymkhana in London on Monday evening.

The pair dined at the £70-a-head eatery, just over a mile away from Scott’s restaurant, where she was captured on camera earlier this year with her now-estranged husband Charles Saatchi's hand on her throat.

Lawson and Rushdie are long-time friends, and first became acquainted in 1990 when she was married to her first husband John Diamond.

Meanwhile, Saatchi was spotted out in central London clutching a copy of Private Eye magazine.

Lawson was released from giving evidence against her former personal assistants Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, who stand accused of carrying out a £685,000 credit card fraud, by Judge Robin Johnson last Thursday.

The mother-of-two protested that she had “been put on trial here” after she was repeatedly questioned over drug-taking during two intense days of giving evidence at Isleworth Crown Court.

Lawson admitted to taking cocaine with Diamond six times from 1999 when he was terminally ill, and once while she was still married to Charles Saatchi. She also admitted to smoking cannabis, but denied that she was an addict.

The Grillo sisters have denied all charges of credit card fraud. The case against them continues.

Get the latest news from the trial here.