Julian Niccolini, the 62 year-old co-owner of storied power lunch destination the Four Seasons, has been arrested on charges of sexual abuse. According to the Post, the daughter of one of Niccolini's business associates claims that he molested her on May 9 during a party at his restaurant. She went to the police two days later, and told them that he had grabbed her breasts and butt, tried to take off her bra and her stockings, and touched her through her underwear. One member of law enforcement told the Post that "her back was pretty scratched up," and neither had been drunk (though both had been drinking). Another anonymous source tells the paper "It wasn't an attack. It was more like he got way too familiar with her body and she was too shocked to say anything at the time."
Niccolini turned himself in to the NYPD Special Victim's Division this morning, and is currently waiting arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Niccolini has of course been in the news a lot recently for other reasons. After many months of speculation, the Four Seasons landlord Aby Rosen finally confirmed last month that the restaurant would not remain in the Seagram Building when its lease expires in 2016. Niccolini and his business partner, Alex von Bidder, have been actively looking to move the restaurant downtown, but apparently haven't settled on a space quite yet.
Update: Leaving his arraignment last night, Niccolini told the Times that he is "not guilty." His lawyer told the judge that his interaction with the 28-year-old woman had taken place at the bar, right in front of a bartender, and that he's "looking forward eagerly to see what the evidence is, if any."
The Post has also updated its story since last night to note that this is not the first time Niccolini has faced such accusations. In 1991 he was sued for $4 million by a waitress who claimed he used "foul, lewd, obscene" language to proposition her, and suggest that she prostitute herself to a customer.