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Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis wanted to be famous for more than just chicken piccata and lasagna rolls sultrily prepared on TV.Well-publicized allegations that she had high-wire flings with Bobby Flay, Matt Lauer and John Mayer before supposedly busting up her own marriage — and that of TV producer Shane Farley, with whom she was recently spotted canoodling on the beach in Mexico — have made De Laurentiis’s wish come true. “Once she started on the Food Network [back in 2003], she wanted to be a star and make as much money as possible,” says Allen Salkin, author of “From Scratch: The Uncensored History of the Food Network.” There are those who believe that 45-year-old De Laurentiis’ decision to hitch her wagon to a new guy — going from husband of 11 years Todd Thompson, a fashion designer for Anthropologie, to producer Farley — fits a pattern of manhandled ambition.The female chef has already been taken to the cleaners on her own breakup.Unhindered by a prenup, husband Thompson got to keep their .2 million home in Pacific Palisades and half of De Laurentiis’s millions of dollars in unpaid book advances while receiving ,000 in monthly child-support payments for 7-year-old daughter Jade (the parents have joint custody). Guaglardi told The Post, “My client is devastated by what she has learned through the tabloids . .‘Hurtful’ would be a mild characterization.” De Laurentiis comes by her love of show biz naturally — her grandfather was the late Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis (“Barbarella,” “Blue Velvet”).Back in LA, she landed a job with Wolfgang Puck at his celebrity hot spot Spago before founding her catering company GDL Foods.
(Salkin mentions in his book that she’s managed to keep her fit figure by spitting out the delectables she has just shown television viewers how to prepare.) The restaurant’s chef’s coats were created by ex-husband Todd.In movie terms, she landed the kind of arrangement that superstar actors manage to swing when signing up for big-budget projects.Situated in the Cromwell, a hip boutique hotel/casino on the Vegas Strip, Giada’s chandeliers boast its namesake’s strategy for remaining svelte.It represented a leap up from a career on TV soundstages, and she shrewdly negotiated a good deal.De Laurentiis’ share of the profits comes from the restaurant’s gross, not its net.