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.