Four Boston Teamsters stand accused of hurling racist, sexist insults at “Top Chef” star Padma Lakshmi and producers during a 2014 shoot. The men, all members of the Teamsters Union Local 25, according to Deadline, were protesting when Lakshmi crossed their picket line.
Ellie Carbajal, a showrunner on “Top Chef,” testified on Wednesday that John Fidler, Daniel Redmond, Robert Cafarelli and Michael Ross swarmed Lakshmi’s vehicle.
During her time on the stand, Carbajal said the union workers “were furious” during the confrontation, Deadline reported. She recalled one of the ill-mannered men putting his face up to Lakshmi’s passenger-side window, suggesting violence against her.
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“That’s the pretty one. We want to smash her face in,” the infuriated Teamster said, according to Carbajal’s account.
The site reported that Carbajal said in court she urged those involved in the incident to capture the car incident on video. While they weren’t able to film the aforementioned attack, Carbajal did record the boorish Teamsters calling her a “c—” and a “towelhead.”
She can be heard calmly saying, “your mama would be so proud,” to Redmond, identified in the video. He retorts back, “at least she knows I’m not a scab like you” before launching into a full-on racist, sexist tirade.
The video, which can be seen above, was shown in court on Wednesday, Deadline confirmed.
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“I was scared. I couldn’t believe they were doing this. They were grown men,” Carbajal said of the three-hour stand-off.
She claimed, during her testimony, that Milton Police — on site to maintain order — “didn’t do anything.”
“They said the teamsters were within their rights,” Carbajal told the court, according to Deadline.
Carbajal said during her testimony that police made record of several slashed tires on “Top Chef” production vehicles, but made no arrests. Additionally, the site reported that the police sent a $2,846 invoice to the show for providing security during the altercation.
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Deadline reported that Erica Ross, a former co-executive producer on “Top Chef,” testified one day prior. She said in court that Lakshmi was “visibly terrified” during the encounter.
Fidler, Redmond, Cafarelli and Ross have pleaded not guilty to attempting to extort a nonunion production company, Fox News reported.
Mark Harrington, a fifth defendant in the case, pleaded guilty to that charge in December. A judge sentenced him to six months house arrest.