Page Six(NY Post)
In 2004, Martha Stewart was convicted of lying to federal agents in an insider trading case, leading the food and lifestyle guru to spend five months in a West Virginia federal prison, as well as pay $150,000 in fines.
Nightmares indeed: Gordon Ramsay has been dealing with some hellish situations since his rise to fame. In 2006, the fiery chef sued The London Evening Standard for saying “Kitchen Nightmares” was staged. In 2007, a restaurant worker fired on an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” sued Ramsay, once more alleging that scenes in the show were fake. And his personal life is just as dramatic: Us Weekly reports that Ramsay’s estranged father-in-law and former business partner, Chris Hutcheson, lived a double life with two mistresses and illegitimate children, leading Ramsay to sever ties with him in 2010. Lawsuits were filed in which Ramsay accused Hutcheson of hacking into his email. All suits were eventually settled.
n 2012, Mario Batali settled a lawsuit for $5.25 million. CBS News reports that plaintiffs accused Batali and his restaurant partner Joseph Bastianich of confiscating part of their employees’ tips.
Juan-Carlos Cruz, host of Food Network’s “Calorie Commando” and “Weighing In,” was arrested in 2010 for allegedly hiring two homeless men to murder his then-wife. The Los Angeles Times reports Cruz pleaded no contest and is still doing time at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi.
Robert IThe New York Times reports that Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian filed for bankruptcy in April 2011 after 100 employees from his closed restaurant, Country, filed a class-action suit for unpaid overtime, late payment, unauthorized payroll deductions and falsifying pay records. Zakarian’s former business partners sided with employees, alleging that Zakarian would use his company credit card for personal purchases, gave out free meals to friends and family and even put his wife on the payroll. Zakarian’s rep told the Times, “Geoffrey Zakarian filed for bankruptcy due to the enormous costs of defending a class action lawsuit by former employees of a restaurant in which Mr. Zakarian is no longer involved. Mr. Zakarian denied the allegations in the lawsuit but it would cost him several hundred thousand dollars to defend the action.”
Robert Irvine, host of “Restaurant: Impossible,” cooked up some lies in his biography, claiming to be a White House chef and to have worked on Princess Diana’s wedding cake. The St. Petersburg Times found that both those claims were more than a little fishy, and his official bio has since been amended.
Former “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” producer David Page told Minneapolis’ City Pages that host Guy Fieri had some issues with women and gay patrons while filming the series. “When cutting the show, you had to tell the editors to watch Guy’s eye line, because it’s always on breasts,” he said. In another incident, the staffer says Fieri left a taping early for side eye-worthy reasons. “Guy had decided that the two men running the restaurant were life partners. He said, ‘You can’t send me to talk to gay people without warning! Those people weird me out!’
After photos were published in a British newspaper of Nigella Lawson’s then-husband Charles Saatchi with his hands around her throat, Lawson didn’t comment. That led Saatchi to file for divorce from the “Nigella Feasts” star. The ensuing courtroom drama included Lawson admitting to using cocaine and marijuana in the past. The “Domestic Goddess” was even denied entry into the United States over her alleged drug use following the humiliating confessions.
When January Jones crashed her car into two parked cars in 2010, she called Food Network star Bobby Flay for help at the scene. Flay, who is (and was) married to Stephanie March, denied the pair were an item to Us Weekly.
Paula Deen, whose recipes are criticized for having caloric overload, announced in 2012 that she had diabetes … and that she was endorsing a Norvo Nordisk drug to treat the disease. The big fat drama didn’t end there: Deen admitted in a May 2013 court deposition that she’d used the N-word in the past. The deposition was for a case against the former Food Network Southern belle alleging she racially discriminated against black employees. The scandal cost her nearly all of her television cost her nearly all of her television, book and endorsement deals, though she’s chronicling her subsequent struggles in a documentary… that’s available if you subscribe to her $9.99 Paula Deen Network.
Giada De Laurentiis
Sources told Page Six that Giada De Laurentiis never eats any of her own creations. The insider revealed, “When Giada films her cooking show, she never eats. Never. When she is making drinks and food that she has to drink or eat, they have a dump bucket that is brought out the second they cut.” Perhaps domestic unhappiness is why De Laurentiis didn’t have an appetite: On Dec. 29, the “Giada at Home” hostess announced her divorce from fashion-designer husband Todd Thompson, from whom she’d been separated since July
In 1997, Jeff Smith — minister, father and host of “The Frugal Gourmet” — was sued by seven men who claimed that Smith sexually abused them as teens. Current reports that Smith was also sued by an eighth alleged victim, who claimed Smith paid him hush money back in 1991. Smith adamantly denied the allegations, settling with the plaintiffs out of court. The Los Angeles Times notes that following the suits and the show’s subsequent cancellation, Smith was often portrayed as “unreliable in crank on set.” Smith died in his sleep in 2004.
Richard Nelson, a popular 1980s food writer who studied under James Beard (right), released “Richard Nelson’s American Cooking” in 1984. The Los Angeles Times reports that the book was pulled from shelves after Nelson was accused of stealing more than 40 of his recipes.
Anthony Bourdain, host of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” hasn’t had any scandals of his own per se, but he’s had no reservations about speaking ill of his TV chef peers. He said of butter-loving Paula Deen’s deal with Novo Nordisk (via Us Weekly), “Roll out a five hundred dollar-a-month diabetes treatment — I find that in excruciatingly bad taste. It’s unconscionable, cynical and greedy. Thirty million dollars a year. How much money do you need?” He also pointedly tweeted, “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches.