This week, Ashley and Mike are joined by one of New York’s best-known maître d’s, Michael Cecchi-Azzolina, who reveals how he was almost whacked by a member of the Gotti crime family for refusing to serve him drinks. And speaking of crime, Michele McPhee reports from Beverly Hills on a bizarre scam involving a dentist to the stars of Hollywood and the N.B.A. Then Katya V., a poet and feminist in Moscow, tells us why she is determined to stay in Putin’s increasingly unlivable Russia, even as many of her friends escape. All this and more make this week’s show one you won’t want to miss. Listen by clicking Play below. But be sure to subscribe at Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you don’t miss an episode. Update, 11/27: After this episode was recorded, a lawyer representing Dr. Aamir Wahab, the Beverly Hills dentist charged with defrauding the National Basketball Association (N.B.A.), filed a court notice that the dentist intends to plead guilty.

Episode 115: The Mobster and the Maître d’

Michael Cecchi-Azzolina on how he survived a run-in with a Gotti mobster. Plus, a Beverly Hills scam involving a dentist to the stars and N.B.A. players; a Russian dissident on why she remains in Moscow; and more