updated 01/26/2011 AT 7:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/26/2011 AT 8:05 PM ET
Tensions between Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi and Adam Dell, the father of her 11-month-old daughter Krishna Thea, are reaching a boiling point.
A friend of Lakshmi tells PEOPLE the reality host is “devastated” that Dell made their custody battle public by filing court papers in Manhattan requesting more time with Krishna.
“She said ‘I’m living in a nightmare,’ ” the friend says. “She’s a single working mother who is trying very hard to have a peaceful and calm environment for her daughter. The recent events are making it difficult.”