Nigella Lawson's former aides have praised her as being ''very brave'' for admitting to taking drugs.

The TV chef admitted snorting cocaine seven times and also smoking cannabis as she gave evidence against Italian sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, who stood trial accused of £685,000 credit card fraud last month, and her former staff members - who were acquitted of the charges - are impressed by her honesty, though they insist they don't feel bad about her being forced to make the revelations.

Francesca, 35, said she was ''very brave'' to do so, adding: ''Good for her for doing so. But I didn't feel guilty.''

Speaking on 'This Morning', Elisabetta, 41, added: ''I feel sorry that we ended up in that situation, that she did admit to that. But no, not guilty, because it was nothing to do with me, it's her life.''

Despite the revelations, the sisters don't think they will have done Nigella's image any harm.

Francesca said: ''I think maybe we won the case but definitely she had the most support from the public. She is well loved and she will always be loved. ''I'm sure she will be fine. She's great at what she's doing and I wish her all the best.

The sisters began working for Nigella in 1999 and admit they are devastated their relationship with her is over, as she was like ''family'' to them, and they think there is no hope of getting back to how things were.

Francesca said: ''It was tough but it was more tough to sit down in a dock thinking, 'I might be in prison for a long time'.

''I think the reason why reconciliation [is not possible] is to make an analogy like a broken mirror. You can glue it back together but you see all the cracks.

The sisters now want to return to normality and said it was ''surreal'' being found not guilty.

Francesca said: ''It's been a burden for all of us involved. It was like, 'Thank god they could see the truth.''