Not too many stories offer you the chance to put "celebrity chef" in the same sentence as "human trafficking," but sometimes you get lucky.
Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich, one of the food moguls involved with Eataly, has been slapped with a $5 million lawsuit that claims she kept an Italian cook as a slave, forcing her to care for a dying, overweight woman in Queens. Luigia Crespi, who was 99 years old when this all started back in 2006, was a friend of the Bastianich family. Actually, more than a friend. Here's where shit gets deeper.
Apparently in 1995, Crespi's husband, Oscar, made a deal with Bastianich that stipulated he would sell his home in Queens to her for $10 if she took care of Luigia until she died. Allegedly Bastianich held up her end of the bargain via the enslavement of Maria Carmela Farina, a woman from Venice who speaks no English and was promised a kitchen job upon leaving her homeland.
She never got that kitchen job.
We'll keep you posted on this bizarre story unfolds.