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Suit against TV chef dismissed, but 2 others remain pending

One sexual abuse suit against "Frugal Gourmet" chef Jeff Smith has been dismissed, while two other suits involving nine plaintiffs remain pending.

The suit by Clinton Smith, the man whose case triggered the other claims, was dismissed for unstated reasons Friday. Smith, who is unrelated to the chef, said Tuesday he would appeal.The other two lawsuits have been consolidated and are scheduled for trial April 28.

The 59-year-old Methodist minister, married with two grown sons, is host of the popular public television cooking "The Frugal Gourmet." At one time, he appeared on 300 public television stations and his 10 cookbooks have sold an estimated 7 million copies.

Clinton Smith, 37, of Eatonville, began going on radio talk shows in mid-1995 with his claims that when he was 16, Jeff Smith forced him to have sex and to participate in "sexually oriented parties with other adult pedophiles and other minor boys." He worked for Jeff Smith at the time.