Paramedics treated her after she momentarily stopped breathing. She was then taken to hospital with her younger sister, Francesca, by her side.
Her barrister, Anthony Metzer QC, looked shocked and concerned by his client's illness and told the judge that she had a history of panic attacks. The jury was not in court at the time of the incident, which happened yesterday afternoon as they were making their deliberations, and remained unaware of what was unfolding. Judge Robin Johnson later told them that one of the sisters was not feeling well, but did not give any more information.
Before she fainted, former personal assistant Elisabetta had looked increasingly agitated as she waited for the jury to return with a verdict. She was comforted by her sister, who stroked her hair and hugged her after she started crying.
It came after the judge said jurors had asked for the day's deliberations to be extended.
The court was told, in the jury's absence, she "suffered a severe panic attack that caused her to stop breathing".