Jury selection begins in Teamster 'Top Chef' trial

The Bravo show's star, Padma Lakshmi, claims threats were leveled at her by a group of Teamsters that disrupted a nonunion shoot for her hit show at a Massachusetts restaurant in June 2014.
2:28 | 07/31/17

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Transcript for Jury selection begins in Teamster 'Top Chef' trial
Great advice, thank you. Now to Boston where jury selection is starting in the top chef extortion trial. Four teamsters are charged with threatening show producers trying to secure union jobs, one even accused of threatening the host himself, model padma lakshmi. It is a really life drama spurred by bravo's show top chef. It is alleged a group of teamsters used old school tactics to get jobs. They described what was a terrifying ordeal. Doug, please pack your lives and go. Reporter: Padma lakshmi is used to placing chefs on the chopping block. Now she's preparing a deal with some heat outside of the kitchen in a federal court. The model and top chef TV host is expected to testify during a trial of four teamsters charged with attempting to extort the show's production company while they were filming at the Massachusetts restaurant because top chef's production company is nonunion. Lakshmi told the FBI she felt threatened wn pulling up to the restaurant to film, describing the situation as volatile and tense. When one of the defendants came up to her car, she said the window was down and he leaned in less than 15 inches away from her face and said something intimidating, like, look what we have here, and I'll smash your pretty little face. In court documents obtained by ABC news, prosecutors said without using their hands, the teamsters bumped their stomachs and chests into the production assistant and several others. Prosecutors also say some time that morning tires of at least nine vehicles belonging to the production company were slashed. But the defendants who lakshmi described asphalt guys with beer guts who looked like smokers all pleaded not guilty. They argue their picketing was part of their union's political protest against the abuse of the Massachusetts film tax credit. The brazen nature of their actions, the way that they carried out their intimidation tactics in front of so many people makes this a persuasive case for the prosecutors. Reporter: According to one police officer's report, the top chef crew also acted aggressively. Lakshmi says she did not want to cross the picket line and has been trying to put this whole day behind her ever since it happened and was reluctant to testify but she's going to go forward with it and we'll see what happens. Sounds like a before the movie script. Right. All right, thank you, linsey.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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