In December 2017 restaurateur and owner of The Spotted Pig Ken Friedman was accused of harassing and sexually coercing women employees at the restaurant. The New York Times reported that chef Mario Batali, an investor in the restaurant, was also accused of sexually aggressive behavior at the restaurant, particularly in a third floor space that was openly dubbed “the rape room” by employees. Now, the New York attorney general is investigating discrimination and harassment at The Spotted Pig, issuing a subpoena for Friedman and the restaurant’s holding company.
The New York Times reports that the state requests records both related to Friedman and Batali:
The subpoena seeks, among other things, any records of sexually suggestive communications between Mr. Friedman and any employees, including nude photos or descriptions of the attractiveness or sexual availability of employees and job applicants. It also seeks video footage of Mr. Batali with female employees in the restaurant’s third-floor party room, as well as records of complaints related to sex harassment or discrimination based on employees’ gender or pregnancy.
The city’s investigation is looking into whether The Spotted Pig broke city or state laws, though as of this May Batali was being investigated by the New York police department for sexual misconduct. Friedman has denied all allegations while Batali has previously said “there is no question I have behaved terribly.”