Former employee sues Lidia’s Italy host

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Lidia Bastianich, whose latest public television series, Lidia’s Italy in America, premieres Sept. 10, is being sued by an Italian cook who alleges that Bastianich made her a “virtual slave,” reports the New York Daily News. Maria Carmela Farina is asking for $5 million in the suit, filed Thursday (Aug. 18) in Manhattan. Farina says in the suit that she came to America in 2006 thinking she would oversee Bastianich’s kitchens and prepare recipes for her shows. Instead, she claims, she became a live-in personal assistant for an elderly woman whose husband had worked as Bastianich’s handyman.

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