Restaurateur/nightlife man Matt Levine is suing his former business partners at Sons of Essex and the now-defunct Cocktail Bodega for $20 million. The lawsuit alleges that Michael Shah and the other members of the group used Levine's name to build their string of restaurants. But instead of offering him a promised ownership stake, they threw Levine out on the curb like a burlap sack full of old soup cans. As you may recall, Shah and Levine split back in April.
According to the Daily News, Levine's lawsuit alleges that Shah, "allowed a convicted felon to steal from the businesses," and he used resources to host two political fundraisers, including one for Bill de Blasio. Levine also claims that Shah, "let accountant Victor Jung cook the books to filch cash." Shah tells the Daily News: "Matt Levine drafted this narrative of half-truths and outright lies, sent it to me and demanded $5.5 million in 48 hours or else he would file it...It looks like he has decided to pursue an avenue of public slander."
· Sons of Essex Is the Focus of a $20 Million Dispute [NYDN]
· All Coverage of Matt Levine [~ENY~]