Multiple women have come forward to allege that they were sexually harassed and in a few cases even assaulted by famed restaurateur Ke Friedman.
In a New York Times expose, former employees who worked for Friedman at his hugely successful West Village eatery The Spotted Pig claim that they were groped and even forcefully kissed by their boss while on the job.
His behavior was allegedly so rampant and out in the open that workers began to refer to the third floor of the establishment as ‘the rape room.’
Trish Nelson said that she reached her breaking point in 2012 after going out to smoke a joint with Friedman in a car outside the restaurant, and suddenly being forced to fight him off as he started kissing her.
‘I was scared. I couldn’t believe it. I had worked for him for six years,’ said Nelson, who gave her notice soon after.
‘I was terrified to tell anyone why. Ken bragged about blacklisting people all the time. And we saw it happen.’
That came five years after Friedman allegedly grabbed her head and shoved it in his crotch as she bent down to get some glasses in the ‘rape room.’
Friedman, who is also the man behind Breslin Bar & Dining Room, the John Dory Oyster Bar, Salvation Taco and White Gold Butcher, announced soon after the story was published that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence.
‘Some incidents were not as described, but context and content are not today’s discussion. I apologize now publicly for my actions,’ said Friedman in a statement.
The Times story points out that Friedman had a number of consensual relationships with women over the past 13 years. His wife was formerly a host at The Spotted Pig.
His partner at the establishment was April Bloomfield, the highly-revered chef who runs the kitchen.
Named: Ken Friedman (above in 2014) is accused of sexually harassing multiple female employees in a New York Times expose