The mainstream media continues to chew over Nigella Lawson’s lifestyle in the court case involving her ex-husband Charles Saatchi and former assistants Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo.
The Grillo sisters are accused of fraudulently using credit cards from Saatchi’s private company.
At stake is Nigella’s reputation and future career but she needn’t be too worried. There’s a well known recipe to restore her fortunes.
Yesterday marked the first step in Nigella’s comeback when she admitted in court that she had taken cocaine and smoked cannabis.
Nigella spent the day in the witness stand at Isleworth Crown Court in London. Dressed in black and accompanied by her brother Dominic Lawson it was a masterclass in atonement.
Full disclosure is the first step in the recovery of the reputation of an individual or organisation. “I’d rather be honest and ashamed than bullied with lies,” said Nigella according to Mail Online.
Next follows the public response. Nigella is on the front page of many of the UK papers today. Inevitably they pour over the detail of her disclosures in court.
Yet public sentiment and support for Nigella remains incredibly high. The story is playing out as an old fashioned scrap between Team Nigella and Team Saatchi.
Inevitably Nigella has plenty of critics across various forms of social media but they are outnumbered by a significant margin by supporters.
A sure sign that an individual has reached the status of national treasure is when they become known by their first name. Think of Brucie, Kylie and Robbie.
Nigella is almost part of the family. In the last decade we’ve welcomed the Domestic Goddess into our living rooms via her popular television shows and kitchens via her cookery books and products.
If Nigella wants to re-establish herself in the public eye it won’t be hard.
The widely reported acrimonious split with Saatchi combined with the court case provides the opportunity for a fresh start.
First Nigella needs to leave the media circus behind for a while and let this cycle play out.
Next she needs to focus her energy on a cause before re-emerging with renewed purpose and vigour.
It needs to be authentic: austerity cooking, food labelling or sourcing would all work as on-trend issues.
The celeb reputation restoration programme has worked for plenty of notable people in the past. It’s a well-trodden path by the likes of Cheryl Cole, Kate Moss and Martha Stewart.
We all love a comeback story and this Domestic Goddess has all the ingredients.
This blog first appeared on Two Way Street by Stephen Waddington. Wadds is Chariman of Admiral PR and Marketing and European Digital & Social Media Director at Ketchum and President-Elect of the CIPR. He is author of Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals; and editor and contributor to Share This and Share This Too.