Both Ken Friedman, owner of the New York restaurant The Spotted Pig, and investor Mario Batali are under investigation by the state Attorney General’s office for allegations of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination, The New York Times reported on Monday.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood issued a subpoena to Friedman and the Spotted Pig’s holding company, according to sources that were not identified.
The move was part of a civil rights investigation that has been going on for months, the report said. The subpoena seeks records related to Friedman and Batali.
Batali, an investor and frequent guest at the Spotted Pig, is also reportedly under investigation by New York police for allegations of criminal sexual assault at the Spotted Pig and the restaurant Babbo, which Batali’s restaurant group owns.
Last year, The New York Times published accounts that Friedman and Batali touched, propositioned and coerced female employees and others at the restaurants. Some called a third-floor party space at the Spotted Pig the “rape room.”
In June, Friedman’s former partner at the Spotted Pig split from the company, taking ownership and control of the group’s West Coast restaurants, including the Hearth & Hound and Tosca Café.
B&B Hospitality Group is also in the process of buying out co-founder Batali, and the Italian chain Eataly USA has also initiated a process to compel the chef to divest his minority interest.
Batali and Friedman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
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