The Spotted Pig, a prominent New York eatery, was once known as one of the top restaurants in the city. Now, however, reports have surfaced that the restaurant’s third floor was known as the “Spotted Pig rape room.” There have also been reports that Food Network star and chef Mario Batali, who recently came under fire for sexual harassment, was a frequent guest.
The Spotted Pig rape room earned its title by being a space where sexual assault and poor working conditions were the standards. Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman, who allowed the room to run and the guests to behave any way they wanted, has his own history of sexual assault allegations.
Ten former staff members have accused Friedman of sexual misconduct, including groping and inappropriate remarks. Though Friedman has had his own accusations to deal with, chef Mario Batali has also been accused of even more instances of sexual misconduct. The Food Network star was already forced to step down from his shows and restaurants after accusations of his behaviour surfaced.
Chef Mario Batali was known within the Spotted Pig as “the Red Menace,” according to former server Trish Nelson. The Food Network star was known for making crude remarks about the staff and trying to touch servers, and on one occasion, he was reported for groping and kissing an unconscious woman.
The Spotted Pig’s “rape room” was allowed to stay open for far longer than it should have been. Not only was the staff subjected to harassment from its patrons, but they were also forced to work all hours of the night until patrons were ready to leave. Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman did not just overlook this behaviour, but openly encouraged it.
Friedman regularly told his staff that the rules do not apply to the Spotted Pig’s third floor. The parties are thrown in the “Spotted Pig rape room” which reportedly included public nudity and sex. The room was frequented by VIP guests who were given a free run of the place. Though Batali was one of the worst offenders, Ken Friedman participated in many instances of sexual harassment.
Chef Mario Batali was accused by at least four women of instances of sexual misconduct which took place over 20 years. The Food Network star was forced to leave the ABC cooking show The Chew and stepped down from his restaurants this past week. He issued an apology which also came under intense criticism for including a cinnamon roll recipe.
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