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TV Chef Donatella Arpaia’s Restaurant Accused of Sexual Harassment Issues

A former staffer at Prova PizzaBar is suing the chef

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Donatella Arpaia is being sued for an incident at her restaurant Prova
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for City Harvest

Chef and TV personality Donatella Arpaia is being sued by an employee who claims the chef’s Grand Central terminal pizzeria Prova fired the staffer for reporting a sexual harassment incident.

Page Six reports that former cashier Carmela Harding has filed a lawsuit against Arpaia and Prova partner attorney Mark Geragos — alleging that she was fired after reporting that a male coworker “aggressively groped” her at the end of a shift in August.

The coworker put his hand on her bottom, and when Harding reported it to a manager the next day, she was fired, the suit claims. The same colleague allegedly also cat-called Harding and called female customer names such as “fat butt” and “fat ass,” according to Page Six. She’s asking for unspecified damages.

Arpaia’s spokesperson said in a response: “The scurrilous allegations in the complaint are nothing more than a disgruntled employee’s retaliation for her justified termination.”

Arpaia opened Prova in Grand Central Terminal in fall of 2016, serving pizza, garlic knots, and her flagship meatballs. She previously had a location in Chelsea, which lasted about a year. The chef has been a judge on Iron Chef America and made lots of other TV appearances.