A trendy New York city eatery had a ‘rape room’ (on the third floor of restaurateur Ken Friedman’s tony Village), where Mario Batali would sexually assault women.
In one of the city’s most famous celeb hangouts, the Spotted Pig, women would routinely grope female employees and demand sex and nude photos from them, all the time whilst allowing their friends to join in.
According to a report in the New York Times, some 10 women are now accusing the powerful businessman of unwanted sexual advances.
The report comes after a former longtime server, Miss Trish Nelson said Friedman once, back in 207, grabbed her head as she was kneeling down behind the bar to get some glasses, told her “while you’re down there,” and pulled it toward his crotch. All this was done in front of famed actress Amy Poehler. Miss Nelson declared: “Aside from hanging my head in painful humiliation, I did nothing,”
“I can’t even retell this story now without getting teary.”
Miss Rza Betts, who also worked for Mr Friedman, confirms the stories, saying: “In the moment, you are not thinking at all.”
“He’s your boss. You don’t punch him. You just don’t kiss back, and pull away and try to shake it off.”
After she left Mr Friedman would send her texts: “G’nite gorgeous. Send me a sexy picture.”
“Come on. One sexy pic,” she said. “Just 1. Your body,” he added.
Mr Friedman has released a statement following the report in the New York Times: “I own my behavior, which can accurately be described at times as abrasive, rude and frankly wrong. The women who work at our restaurants are among the best in the business, and putting any of them in humiliating situations is unjustifiable. Some incidents were not as described, but context and content are not today’s discussion.”
“I apologize now publicly for my actions.”