Trump Files Another Lawsuit Against Restaurateur After Immigration Comments
Trump Files 2nd Contract Lawsuit in D.C. Against Restaurateur Alleging Breach
Donald Trump's real estate empire filed a second lawsuit this week in D.C. Superior Court accusing a celebrity chef of breach of contract for pulling out of an agreement to open a restaurant at the downtown Trump International Hotel.
Trump filed the lawsuit against Geoffrey Zakarian only days after he sued chef Jose Andres.
Both of the restaurateurs canceled their contracts to protest Trump's harsh comments about illegal immigrants.
The Andres and Zakarian restaurants were planned to be major attractions for the Trump International Hotel being built from a $200 million renovation of the Old Post Office building on Constitution Avenue, a short walk from the White House.
As Trump started his presidential campaign in June, he said during a television interview that illegal immigrants from Mexico were people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
He also suggested building a large wall along the length of the U.S. border with Mexico to help keep out illegal immigrants.
Zakarian agreed in his contract to operate a first-class high quality restaurant called the National under a 20-year lease at the hotel.
In a press statement last month, Zakarian said he was canceling the contract because recent statements surrounding Mexican immigrants by Donald Trump do not in any way align with my personal core values.
A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6 in the lawsuit against Zakarian in D.C. Superior Court before Judge Brian Holeman.
No hearing date is set yet for the lawsuit against the famed Spanish chef Andres, which is filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Andres is an immigrant and naturalized American citizen.
His ThinkFoodGroup has issued a statement responding to the lawsuit that says, The landlord allowed Mr. Trump to saddle us with the burden of his inflammatory statements, such that operating a high-end Spanish restaurant is no longer viable for us at this location.
Trump is represented by Rebecca Woods, a partner from Seyfarth Shaw .
The July 31 complaint against Andres says, The restaurant space that Mr. Andrés has suddenly abandoned is slated to be in the center of the hotel, adjacent to the lobby and a visual focal point for all the perimeter guest rooms that line the nine-story atrium. In addition to landlord’s obligation in the master lease to operate a signature restaurant, it is indisputably harmful to open a luxury hotel without its planned restaurant, much less one undergoing construction as will now be required.