April Bloomfield to End Business Relationship with Ken Friedman
After over fifteen years of working together to open such influential New York City restaurants as The Breslin, The Spotted Pig, and John Dory Oyster Bar, April Bloomfield is almost finished cutting all business ties with Ken Friedman, whose alleged sexual misconduct was detailed in an explosive New York Times report in December.
According to Eater, Bloomfield released a statement on Sunday night's 60 Minutes, saying "in the final stages of severing my partnership."
While Friedman has denied allegations of groping staffers, demanding sex, sending nude photos, and more inappropriate workplace behavior—including retaliation against those who objected—he stepped down from operations of his five restaurants in NYC (though remains a financial partner, Eater reports.)
In December, shortly after Friedman's alleged misconduct at The Spotted Pig came to light, Bloomfield released a statement on Twitter, writing, "I would never suggest anyone accept unprofessional treatment, and those who know me, know any such reference is insulting. I can say with confidence that I have never and will never condoned sexual harassment in the workplace." She also added that she "lectured and demanded" Friedman about his behavior, but acknowledges that her actions were not enough.
In the New York Times article, several female employees alleged that they approached Bloomfield with concerns over Friedman's behavior and that they were met with the response: "Get used to it."
"In the two matters involving uninvited approaches that were brought to my attention over the years, I immediately referred both to our outside labor counsel and they were addressed internally," Bloomfield said in her statement to the Times. "I have spoken to Ken about professional boundaries and relied on him to uphold our policies. Nonetheless I feel we have let down our employees and for that I sincerely apologize.”
As accused chefs and restaurateurs continue stepping out of the spotlight, what remains to be seen is what, exactly, will happen to their restaurants.