New Zealand says yes to Nigella despite US exclusion

2014-04-20 08:25

Wellington - New Zealand officials have granted a special visa to British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, who has admitted cocaine use, in an apparent confirmation she has been blocked from entering the United States, according to a report on Sunday.

US authorities declined to specify why Lawson was stopped from flying from London to Los Angeles late last month.

However, in a statement to the Herald on Sunday newspaper, Immigration New Zealand said Lawson was not allowed to enter the United States which meant she required special permission to work in New Zealand.

"As Ms Lawson has been excluded from another country, namely the United States, she was ineligible to be granted a visa to enter New Zealand unless given a special direction," the statement said.

"A special direction was considered and granted and subsequently her visa application was approved."

The 54-year-old Lawson admitted, when giving evidence in a court case last year, that she had used cocaine and cannabis in the past.

British newspapers speculated the television chef was stopped from flying to the United States, where she stars in a cooking talent show The Taste, because of her admission of drug use.

A US embassy spokesperson in London confirmed Lawson was denied permission to fly to Los Angeles but declined to say why, citing privacy reasons.

Lawson is in New Zealand to film a commercial for a chocolate manufacturer.


  • Jon Low - 2014-04-20 08:49

    NZ is as sensible as what the US is ridiculous. Where is the natural justice of punishing someone who hasn't even been charged, let alone convicted, of any crime? There isn't any.

  • Karen Maynard - 2014-04-20 09:00

    The woman did a few lines and smoked a few joints and now she's barred from visitin LA. I mean really! Atleast she never made a spectacle of herself or dragged her divorce or private life through she press to be famous for being famous! I still like and respect her and feel very sorry that because of being gripped by the neck in public, her whole private life is suddenly everyone's business!! Poor woman!

      Nukki Green - 2014-04-20 10:21

      what about all the celeb junkies already living there? In my opinion they are far wors then Nigella

  • Israel Jonathan - 2014-04-20 09:10

    The US is a pathetic country, statistics have shown that the usa on its own has the highest number of drug users.

  • Angela Sandells - 2014-04-20 09:23

    Why don't they also ban alcoholics from entering the US? Or anyone who's ever got drunk? Same difference.

  • Freddie Jones - 2014-04-20 09:33

    I went into NZ on a South African passport without any visa. I was allowed to stay up to 3 months. I was just a tourist, not working.

  • Rashida Patel - 2014-04-20 10:38

    Sanity prevails in new zealand ! Admire nigella ..definately buy what nigella advertizes !

  • Robert Coughlan - 2014-04-20 10:54

    As long as they wouldn't normally stop a non-celebrity for exactly the same admissions she's made, then it's a rational, common sense decision.

  • Willem Louw - 2014-04-21 19:43

    The should ban all the celebrities who have admitted to drug usage in the past. I find it hypocritical. Half the Hollywood celebrities have admitted to using one substance or the other. Why single out Nigella when you have problems like Lindsey Lohan and Chris Brown?

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