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The Spotted Pig, famed New York restaurant, closes in wake of sexual harassment settlement

Famed Manhattan restaurant The Spotted Pig has closed, weeks after the New York attorney general’s office announced the restaurant and its owner would settle sexual harassment claims by 11 former employees, The New York Times reported Monday.

Spotted Pig chef Tony Nassif told CNN that Sunday was the restaurant’s last night.

Multiple calls by CNN to The Spotted Pig Monday were not returned.

Attorney General Letitia James announced the settlement January 7, saying “the restaurant “maintained a hostile workplace where numerous female employees were subjected to severe and pervasive incidents of unwanted touching and unwelcomed sexual advances” by owner Ken Friedman.

The attorney general found Friedman oversaw a “sexualized workplace” where he and celebrity chef Mario Batali routinely harassed female employees.

Employees were groped, asked to take nude photos, and witnessed sexual assault, the report found. Those who complained were fired.

“No matter how high-profile the establishment, or how seemingly powerful the owners, today’s settlement reiterates the fact that we will not tolerate sexual harassment of any form in the workplace,” James said in her January 7 announcement.

Under the rules of the settlement, Friedman agreed to step down from overseeing The Spotted Pig’s operations, but continued to have shares in the company. He also agreed to pay $240,000 to be split among 11 former employees.

Those former employees were also set to receive 20% of the company’s profits over the next decade, including from any sale. That would not hold if the company went defunct.

The state attorney general’s office declined to comment on what effect the restaurant’s apparent closure would have on the settlement.

The Spotted Pig opened in 2004 in the West Village and quickly became a popular spot. It was counted among the top restaurants in the city for celebrity sightings, according to a 2017 article by CNN affiliate WCBS, which said Jay-Z, Jude Law, Luke Wilson and Courtney Love had reportedly been seen there.

The sexual harassment investigation into The Spotted Pig prompted a separate inquiry into the actions of Batali, one of the investors and a frequent dinner guest at the restaurant, the state’s attorney general announced earlier this month.

Batali was not named in the primary investigation into the conditions at The Spotted Pig because he was not a principal owner and didn’t have control over conditions there, James said at the time.

“However, as a result of our investigation we have received credible information about his alleged actions and are therefore are separately looking into him, his business partner, his management company and his three restaurants,” James said.

Batali said in a statement last year: “I vehemently deny any allegations of sexual assault. My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions.”

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