- Associated Press - Thursday, August 10, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - A jury has begun deliberations in the federal extortion trial of four Teamsters accused of threatening and harassing the non-union crew of the “Top Chef” TV reality show.

Jurors began mulling the case Thursday after prosecutors and defense lawyers delivered closing arguments.

The Local 25 members are accused of threatening the “Top Chef” staff, including its host, Padma Lakshmi. She testified she was “terrified” when a Teamster confronted her outside a Boston-area restaurant where the Bravo series filmed in 2014.

Prosecutors said the Teamsters used strong-arm tactics and attempted to disrupt filming for the show in an attempt to extort jobs as drivers with union-scale wages.

Lawyers for the men told the jury they were merely demonstrating against the non-union crew.

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