April Bloomfield Speaks Out About Alleged Misconduct at the Spotted Pig
Since the New York Times broke the story of over two dozen sexual misconduct allegations against Spotted Pig restaurateur Ken Friedman in December 2017, his former longtime partner, chef April Bloomfield, has largely stayed silent, issuing an apologetic statement in which she said she has "never and will never" condone sexuality in the workplace. In May, she confirmed that she had ended her business relationship with Friedman, with whom she had worked for over fifteen years on top restaurants including The Breslin and John Dory Oyster Bar. Now, almost one year after the scandal broke, the former Spotted Pig chef is opening up about what, in her mind, happened at the Spotted Pig.
In a new interview with the Times, Bloomfield admits that she "failed a lot of people," while suggesting that Friedman's manipulation and temper made it difficult for her to walk away from their enterprise together.
"I felt like I was in a position where he held all the cards,” she said. “He had so much control, and he was so dominant and powerful, that I didn’t feel like if I stepped away that I would survive.”
Bloomfield, who is from Birmingham, England, claimed that Friedman once threatened her work visa over a minor disagreement. (He denied this to the Times, as he has deniedallegations of misconduct.) She also said she tried several times to hire an HR coordinator, though many employees claimed they approached the chef about Friedman's harassment and she did nothing to stop it.
The article, co-authored by Kim Severson and Julia Moskin, noted that many former employees of Bloomfield's "declined to be interviewed for this article, saying they did not want to contribute to any narrative that might appear to offer her redemption." Another chef who worked under Bloomfield for several years, Katy Severson, told the Times that while her boss would lose her temper, she "truly cared and wanted [her] to be a better chef."
In response to the initial story detailing the allegations against Friedman, which included groping, lude texts, and "demanding sex," the restaurateur said in a statement, "Some incidents were not as described, but context and content are not today’s discussion. I apologize now publicly for my actions."