Trump Settles Second Lawsuit With a Celebrity Chef in One Week
In November, Donald Trump boasted that he “never settles lawsuits,” but just this week he has gone back on that declaration twice. Although the then-president-elect was quietly deposed in January regarding a series of lawsuits and countersuits involving chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian, both chefs have now settled their legal disputes with the Trump Organization for undisclosed amounts this week.
The legal quarrel began in 2015 when Zakarian and Andrés both dropped out of their restaurant contracts with the then-soon-to-be-opened Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., after Trump made disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants. When he dropped out of the contract, Zakarian released a statement saying, “We are a nation built from immigrants, my family included.” The statement expressed disapproval of the then-presidential candidate’s portrayal of Mexican immigrants as “drug dealers, criminals, rapists.”
“After an intense, two-year legal battle, we are pleased we were able to amicably resolve our differences and wish Geoffrey continued success,” Donald Trump Jr. said in a statement just three days after the lawsuit was settled with Andrés.
In September 2016, while the legal battle was still ongoing, Zakarian claimed that Trump’s kids “should sue their dad” instead because “he did this” (referring to the organization’s difficulties in finding new restaurateurs to replace Andrés and Zakarian).