Lights, Camera, Arrest

Prosecutors blast acquittals in ‘Top Chef’ case


top-chef

BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on the acquittal of four Teamsters accused of attempted to extort jobs from a production company filming the “Top Chef” TV reality show near Boston in 2014 (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

Federal prosecutors say they still believe four Teamsters acquitted of attempting to extort jobs from a company filming the “Top Chef” TV show “crossed the line” and broke the law.

Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb released a statement after the men were cleared of attempted extortion and conspiracy charges Tuesday. Weinreb called their conduct “an affront to all of the hard-working and law-abiding members of organized labor.”

During the trial, prosecutors said the men threatened and harassed the nonunion crew and cast of “Top Chef,” including host Padma Lakshmi.

Lakshmi testified that she was “terrified” when one of the men confronted her outside a Boston-area restaurant where the show filmed in 2014.

Lawyers for the men insisted they were merely demonstrating against the nonunion crew.

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11:10 a.m.

Four Teamsters have been acquitted in Boston of threatening the cast and nonunion crew of the TV reality show “Top Chef.”

A federal jury found the men not guilty Tuesday after 20 hours of deliberations. The Local 25 union members were accused of using strong-arm tactics to extort jobs as drivers with union-scale wages.

“Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi testified that she was “terrified” when one of the men confronted her outside a Boston-area restaurant where the series filmed in 2014.

Lawyers for the men insisted they were merely demonstrating against the nonunion crew.

The men were acquitted of charges of conspiracy to extort and attempted extortion.

Source: AP

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