"Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi will testify today against four Teamsters who are accused of intimidating the staff and crew of the reality TV show.
During opening statements yesterday, prosecutors said Lakshmi was “paralyzed with fear” after one of the defendants threatened her by saying “I’ll smash your pretty little face in.” They are also being accused of using homophobic and racial slurs while trying to intimidate the non-union television crew in 2014.
Prosecutors allege the Local 25 union members threatened to picket if the show's producers did not hire union drivers. They also say union members threatened and harassed the crew of the show's non-union production company.
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The defense argues they were simply exercising their right to picket.
The men have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to extort, and aiding and abetting.
If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison.