Jeff Smith, the United Methodist minister known as public TV's popular Frugal Gourmet before a sex scandal ruined his career, died in his sleep in Seattle, Wash., on Wednesday, July 7, 2004. He was 65. The Frugal Gourmet, which aired on PBS from 1983 to 1997, wasn't about being cheap, but about making good food simply. In 1997, however, seven men filed a lawsuit alleging they had been sexually abused by Smith as youths, according to the cnn.com Web site. Six said the abuse occurred while they worked for him at a restaurant he operated in Tacoma in the 1970s. The seventh alleged Smith abused him after picking him up as a hitchhiker in 1992. Smith was soon off the air, though he denied the allegations and was never charged with a crime. He and his insurance companies paid an undisclosed sum to settle the lawsuit, CNN reported.
AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Robert DeGiulio
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