Lidia Bastianich Being Sued for 5 Million Bucks

Employee could be messing with the wrong woman. Or is it the other way around? Photo: Mario Novak

There are a lot of ugly allegations against the otherwise adored chef, cookbook author, famous foodie personality, and resident mama bear to all things Eataly Lidia Bastianich — possibly the real reason she's been spending her time working and eating in Los Angeles rather than New York. A petite, budding chef named Maria Carmela Farina, of Venice, Italy, is suing Bastianich (whose new show, Lidia's Italy in America, starts this fall) for lying about a huge career opportunity and keeping her "enslaved" in Queens, assisting a dying, 200-pound, 100-year-old woman get "on and off the toilet," instead of allowing her to flourish in the celebrity chef world, as originally promised. If Farina's accusations are true, Bastianich could be in a deep bowl of trouble, legally, financially, and personally, as her alleged witchlike behavior could leave a bad taste in many fans' mouths. [NYP]