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Padma Lakshmi

Boston teamsters were acquitted in the 'Top Chef' extortion case

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After deliberating for more than 19 hours, a Boston jury acquitted four teamsters accused of threatening the cast and nonunion crew of the TV reality show "Top Chief."

Local 25 Teamsters John Fidler, Daniel Redmond, Robert Cafarelli and Michael Ross were accused of using tactics to extort jobs as drivers with union-scale wages from the producers of the show in 2014.

According to the court document, several teamsters also rushed "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi's car when she tried to leave a Boston restaurant. One of the men allegedly leaned into her passenger-side window and threatened to “smash her pretty face in.”

Lakshmi testified and said that she was "terrified" when one of the men confronted her.

Lawyers for the men stated they were simply demonstrating against the nonunion crew.

If the teamsters were found guilty, they could have faced up to 20 years in prison.

Some are disappointed in the jury verdict.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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