Ken Friedman’s famed West Village restaurant the Spotted Pig is under investigation for sexual harassment and workplace discrimination, according to a Monday report from The New York Times. Sources told the Times that Barbara Underwood, the state attorney general, issued a subpoena to the Spotted Pig’s holding company and to Friedman, its majority owner—although the investigation has not yet been made public. Prosecutors are reportedly seeking information related to alleged misconduct by Friedman and celebrity chef Mario Batali. That includes any “sexually suggestive communications” between Friedman and employees, video footage of Batali in what some employees called “the rape room,” and evidence that the company discriminated on the basis of gender or pregnancy status. A source familiar with the investigation told The Daily Beast that the investigation has been ongoing for months, and that investigators are working to determine if there is a pattern of harassment and intimidation within the company. Friedman and Batali declined the Times’ request to comment on the investigation.
This investigation is separate from that of the New York City Police Department, which is looking into two women’s claims that Batali sexually assaulted them at two Manhattan restaurants. This isn’t the first time these allegations have surfaced: In a Times article published last December, employees alleged unwanted touching, propositioning, and coercion from the men. “The law is clear: New Yorkers are entitled to workplaces free of sexual harassment, discrimination and intimidation,” Underwood said in a statement cited by the Times.