Saturday Kitchen’s Rachel Allen reveals her fame has been difficult for her son who went to jail
Saturday Kitchen star Rachel Allen has discussed for the first time how her fame affected her son Joshua, 21, who was given a 30-month prison sentence for drugs charges.
Rachel – who is a regular guest on the BBC cooking chat show – told the Independent: ‘I didn’t do anything like that to break the law, but I was able to grow up privately.
‘And so you know what.. it is hard. And it has been really tough actually.’
‘It is hard’: Rachel Allen has discussed for the first time how her fame effected her son Joshua who was given a 30-month prison sentence for drugs charges
Rachel explained: ‘Yeah, it’s been really tough. You know, when I was growing up, no one knew of me.’
The mum of three revealed she feels ‘guilty’ that her children, Joshua, 21, Lucca, 18, and Scarlett, 12, who she shares with husband Isaac, weren’t able to grow up out of the public eye as their lives have been ‘much more commented upon’.
The celebrity chef’s eldest son was given a 30-month prison sentence, which was half suspended after he pleaded guilty for two drug charges at Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland in 2018.
Joshua was caught with nearly £19,000 worth of cannabis at the world-renowned cookery school, which was founded by his grandmother Darina Allen.
Drug charge: Joshua Allen pictured leaving Cork Circuit Criminal Court with his father Issac Allen (L) in September 2019 after being caught with nearly £19,000 worth of cannabis
He pled guilty to the possession for sale or supply of the drug at the school in Shanagarry, County Cork and was jailed for 15 months.
Joshua was brought to court from Cuain Mhuire rehabilitation centre where he had been in treatment.
Judge Sean O’Donnabháin heard how he had made a genuine effort to address his problems in the residential drugs addiction treatment centre.
According to his lawyer, Joshua had completed a 12 week treatment programme and had left with an excellent report on his progress addressing his addiction issues.
Healing: Joshua was brought to court from Cuain Mhuire rehabilitation centre where he had been in treatment (pictured with Rachel in 2014 on a charity trip to India)
Reportedly the schoolboy had been under Garda surveillance for a considerable length of time when the drugs arrived at the cookery school from the U.S.
The package, which had been labelled ‘clothing’, was detected by Customs officers in the mailing centre in Portlaoise who then informed gardaí of the suspicious package they’d found.
After Allen signed and opened the package at Ballymaloe Cookery School, he was arrested by gardai from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau during a raid in County Cork.
Fame: Rachel revealed she feels ‘guilty’ that Joshua and her other two children Lucca, 18 (L) and Scarlett, 12 (R) weren’t able to grow up out of the public eye
Judge O’Donnabhain was told that the teenager had initially approached the case with a level of ‘stupidity’ and tested positive on one occasion during the legal process for having taken cannabis.
The judge said: ‘He [Joshua] did it for profit,’ he said. ‘His culpability in this is significant.’
Rachel told the Irish Daily Mail at the time: ‘He has admitted his guilt immediately and co-operated fully with the gardaí. We are absolutely devastated at this turn of events,
‘Our son is 18 years old, has never been in trouble with the gardaí, and has made a huge mistake, which will have profound consequences for him.
‘We do not in any way condone his actions. In fact, we utterly condemn them, but it is not for us to condemn him. We must now try to look after our son and our family, the best way we can.’
‘Our son has made a huge mistake’: Rachel said she utterly condemned Joshua’s actions but that she had to try and look after her son and family as best she could (pictured in 2014)
Rachel met her husband Isaac Allen when they were both aged 17-years-old in Ballymaloe in 1989.
The couple went on to marry and welcome three children – Joshua, 21, Lucca, 18, and Scarlett, 12 – they celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary in October.
Rachel has previously credited her husband for her success, she told the Irish Times: ‘I definitely wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without him; he’s got more of a business mind.’
While Isaac added: ‘It’s not just that she’s very beautiful and super-intelligent. There’s something much deeper: there’s the support you get just from being with somebody and I felt that very much about her from the very beginning and do to this day.’
Rachel also spoke about their working relationship on RTE Guide, she said: ‘Most of the time we work really well together. I think, though, that if we were to be chefs in a kitchen together that might be different.
‘He’s probably quieter and more reserved than me, in a way. I like chatting to anyone, I’d talk to the wall. But it’s a good balance that works, thank goodness.’
Lovely: Rachel met her husband Isaac Allen when they were both aged 17-years-old in Ballymaloe in 1989 and they celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary in October
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