Nigella was prevented from boarding a flight to America, but what about all the rock stars who talk openly about their drug-fuelled excesses?

Nigella should be grateful she escaped Guantanamo

Share

Nigella Lawson should count her blessings that she was prevented from boarding a flight to America because of her admitted “moral turpitude”. Had she actually set foot in the land of the free, the next time we saw her she might well have been in an orange boiler suit peering through the barbed wire of Guantanamo Bay.

Other than a publicity-seeking exercise on the part of the US Homeland Security Department, it’s very hard to work out the imperative behind Ms Lawson’s exclusion from America. She was told at Heathrow at the weekend that she was not going to be allowed on a plane to Los Angeles because of her confession in court that she had taken cocaine on seven occasions in her life, and this, seemingly, made her an enemy of the state. She has never been charged with a drugs offence, and the British police, wisely, chose not to pursue a prosecution when she made her admission in the midst of a court case in which, it must be remembered, she was not the person on trial.

But the fundamental principle of British justice does not apply to the American authorities. Innocent? You’re guilty if we say so. Apart from the bizarre and vindictive nature of this case, it doesn’t make any logical sense. What about all the rock stars who have talked openly about their drug-fuelled excesses? They are left untroubled as they stretch out in first class, champagne flute in one hand, hot towel in the other.

And, in any case, “moral turpitude” may be a legal concept, but it is there to be stretched this way and that by lawyers. Its strict definition is “conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty and good morals”. And Tony Blair is allowed to fly back and forth to the States! I know. Doesn’t make sense.

What’s more, Ms Lawson has already been permitted to travel to America to be a judge in “The Taste” (no, I haven’t either) since her confession of drug use. So why now? Has someone in Homeland Security been reading the Daily Mail, whose columns fulminate about the lax moral standards of the metropolitan middle classes, and the unwillingness of the police to go after the dinner party coke snorters? The sense that someone is making an example of our erstwhile Domestic Goddess is difficult to avoid.

Sometimes it’s tough to be a celebrity. It has its material compensations, but spare a thought for Nigella. She’s been throttled in public by her husband, and her marriage fell apart as a result. She’s been drawn into an acrimonious domestic conducted in the pages of our national papers – her ex-husband’s latest charming rejoinder about his the gig in America was sent by email: “Bravo, you have become a celebrity hostess on a global TV game show” – she’s had her private life raked over in court, and now she’s been turned away from America because some apparatchik thought it would be fun to do so.

Surely, the US authorities will reverse this position, but the damage has been done. And what kind of a world do we live in where Piers Morgan is accepted in America and Nigella Lawson isn’t?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Read Next
New BBC series Britain's Hardest Grafter seems to be tapping into the 'poverty porn' trend started by C4's Benefits Street  

'Benefits Street' meets 'The Hunger Games' is a new low for the BBC

Alice Jones
 

It may be early-onset senility to blame, but I’m sure the FA Cup Final used to be far more memorable

Matthew Norman
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor