“TOP CHEF” HOST SAYS TEAM­STER CON­FRONTED HER

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

BOS­TON» Padma Lak­shmi, host of the “Top Chef” TV show, tes­ti­fied Mon­day that she was “pet­ri­fied” when a Team­ster con­fronted her while union mem­bers were pick­et­ing out­side a Bos­ton-area restau­rant where the se­ries was filmed in 2014.

Lak­shmi said she Padma was in a ve­hi­cle out­side Lak­shmi the Steel & Rye restau­rant in Mil­ton, where a group of men had formed a line so ve­hi­cles could not move for­ward. She said one man leaned on her door and said: “Oh, lookie here, what a pretty face, or What a shame about that pretty face.”

“I felt he was bul­ly­ing me,” Lak­shmi said. “I felt he was say­ing, ‘I might hit you.’ ”

Lak­shmi’s tes­ti­mony came dur­ing the fed­eral trial of four mem­bers of Team­sters Lo­cal 25. The men have pleaded not guilty to charges of con­spir­acy to ex­tort, and aid­ing and abet­ting.

Pros­e­cu­tors al­lege they threat­ened and ha­rassed the crew of the Bravo show’s nonunion pro­duc­tion com­pany.

Lawyers for the team­sters have said the men were merely ex­er­cis­ing their right to picket for driv­ing jobs. They have said “Top Chef” crew mem­bers es­ca­lated the in­ci­dent in Mil­ton. — The As­so­ci­ated Press

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