When it rains, it pours. A day after AppleEats reported that celebrity Chef Mario Batali was stepping away from his restaurant empire following accusations of sexual harassment, another New York restaurateur has announced he is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the restaurants he owns.
Ken Friedman, owner of The Spotted Pig, has been accused of unwanted sexual advances and other lascivious behavior by ten women who have worked for him.
According to The New York Times, Friedman’s abusive behavior is so ingrained in the social fabric of the West Village restaurant, that among employees and industry insiders, the third floor is nicknamed “the rape room.”
Among the specific horror stories shared by former employees is the tale told by Trish Nelson, a former waitress, who claims Friedman grabbed her head and pulled it toward his crotch in front of actress Amy Poehler in 2007.
In a response to questions from the Times, Friedman said that “some incidents were not as described, but context and content are not today’s discussion. I apologize now publicly for my actions,” adding, “My behavior can accurately be described at times as abrasive, rude and frankly wrong.”
It’s hard to see how any apology, no matter how sincere, is going to do much to lessen the emotional scars suffered by the women he abused.