"I fell short, and I am filled with anger and regret that, in the past, some of my staff were subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment."
On Wednesday night, chef April Bloomfield posted a statement to her Twitter account addressing the detailed New York Times investigation of sexual harassment claims at her critically acclaimed West Village restaurant, The Spotted Pig.
In the article, several women alleged that her partner, restaurateur Ken Friedman, repeatedly groped and verbally harassed them, as well as sent lewd text messages and "demanded sex." Several employees alleged that they went to Bloomfield with these issues and were met with the response: "Get used to it."
The chef addresses this claim in her Twitter statement, 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 goes on to write that she "lectured and demanded" Friedman on his behavior, but knows now that this wasn't enough.
The Times piece drew from over two dozen interviews with former employees of The Spotted Pig and other restaurants owned by Friedman and Bloomfield. Ten women alleged that they'd been subject to unwanted advances from Friedman ("groping them in public, demanding sex or making text requests for nude pictures or group sex"), and others said they were subjected to daily kisses and touches.
Bloomfield and Friedman own five restaurants in New York, including The Spotted Pig, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, John Dory Oyster Bar, White Gold Butchers and Salvation Taco.
"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.”