Todd English is being accused of sexually harassing a waitress at his Todd English Food Hall, an upscale restuarant the celebrity chef operates at The Plaza Hotel in New York.
According to a report earlier this month in The New York Daily News, server Gabrielle Eubank has filed a complaint in a Manhattan court claiming she was harassed by English. She says English’s behavior, which included him telling her she was “sexy” and he was “surprised you’re still single,” helped create a “toxic, objectifying, and hostile” work environment. The charges against English and other staffers accused of harassment are included in a complaint against The Plaza Hotel. English is not named as a defendant. “Any attempt at harassment or discrimination toward our colleagues and guests has not and never will be tolerated,” a spokeswoman for the company that owns The Plaza said in an earlier statement.
On May 17, Eubank alleges, she was working a party when English, “who appeared to be intoxicated, began hugging Ms. Eubank and kissing her on the cheek repeatedly,” according to the Daily News. “Mr. English then began flagrantly propositioning Ms. Eubank on the floor . . . Mr. English then attempted to kiss Ms. Eubank on the lips, forcing her to turn away at the last moment.”
Attempts to reach English (inset), who is not quoted in the Daily News story, were unsuccessful Sunday.
The Los Angeles Times published a story Sunday that included the claims of 38 women who said they were sexually harassed by director James Toback. And the New Orleans Times-Picayune published a story about celebrity chef John Besh in which 25 current and former employees of the Besh Restaurant Group claimed to be victims of sexual harassment while on the job.
English, who opened his first restaurant, Olives, in Charlestown in 1989, spends most of his time in New York these days, though in the Hub he still owns Figs, on Charles Street, and Bonfire, at Logan Airport.
In New York, English has been something a fixture on the gossip pages. In 2014, he was charged with DWI in the Hamptons and then packed off to rehab. Earlier the same year, a photo emerged of a grinning English in a hot tub with three topless women. And who can forget when English’s former fiancee, Erica Wang, was charged with assault after striking the chef in the face with a men’s watch just a few weeks before they were due to be married.