Tags: padma lakshmi | testifies | top chef | extortion

Padma Lakshmi Testifies at 'Top Chef' Teamsters Extortion Trial

Image: Padma Lakshmi Testifies at 'Top Chef' Teamsters Extortion Trial

Padma Lakshmi at the 2009 Bravo's A-List Awards held at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. (Starstock/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 08 Aug 2017 02:33 PM

"Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi testified at a Boston trial Monday in which four Teamsters were accused of trying to extort the show to hire their drivers.

Lakshmi said that she was threatened by a group of picketing Teamsters as she was driven into a restaurant parking lot near Boston by her assistant, Jason Duffy for a shoot in 2014, Deadline reported. She said that a Teamster leaned on their car and said, "Oh, looky here, what a pretty face. What a shame about that pretty face."

She thought that the man might hit her or Duffy, she testified, according to Deadline. Lakshmi also said police were in the area, but did nothing to stop the picketers.

"I really didn’t want to cross the line," Lakshmi said, Deadline reported. "I don’t like confrontation, and this was a very heated confrontation."

Lakshmi also said that the Teamsters yelled profanities at the cast and crew of the show during their shoot at the restaurant and "slashed the tires of a bunch of cars," making people "afraid to drive home alone," Deadline reported.

Prosecutors allege that the Teamsters used threats and intimidation to try to force "Top Chef" to hire the union workers as drivers. "Top Chef" has never used union drivers for the show, The Washington Post reported.

The Teamsters, if convicted, could get up to 20-year sentences for their actions, the Post reported. A fifth Teamster, Mark Harrington, pleaded guilty to attempted extortion in September and was sentenced to six months of home confinement and two years of probation, the Post reported.

Twitter users showed support for Lakshmi and "Top Chef."

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"Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi testified at a Boston trial Monday in which four Teamsters were accused of trying to extort the show to hire their drivers.
padma lakshmi, testifies, top chef, extortion
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2017-33-08
Tuesday, 08 Aug 2017 02:33 PM
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