April Bloomfield is officially ending her relationship with longtime collaborator Ken Friedman. The Spotted Pig and Breslin chef said in a statement to 60 Minutes Sunday night that she’s “in the final stages of severing my partnership” with Friedman following explosive sexual misconduct allegations against him.
Eater has reached out to the Bloomfield team for more info on the terms of the business divorce.
The move’s not unexpected; word has been going around that Bloomfield has been trying to end her relationship with the restaurateur, who’s been accused of behavior such as inappropriately touching staffers, asking for nude photos, and retaliating against people who complained. He denied allegations but stepped away from operations of the restaurant empire. He remains a financial partner.
Bloomfield and Friedman have been working together for more than 15 years, building super-hot and seminal restaurants like the Spotted Pig together. They also own restaurants like Breslin, Salvation Taco, and John Dory Oyster Bar. When Friedman was accused of misconduct, former staffers also pointed to Bloomfield — saying that she turned a blind eye to Friedman’s behavior and ignored complaints. She now says she regrets not doing more.
It’s more fallout as the #MeToo movement hits the restaurant industry. Even as major restaurateurs get accused, they often still financially benefit from their restaurants; business divorce is a messy and complicated process. Mario Batali, who’s currently being investigated by the NYPD for sexual misconduct allegations, is in the process of divesting from his empire.
But Bloomfield’s statements aren’t clear about what might happen to the restaurants she built with Friedman — like if it’s possible Friedman and her would split the empire, or whether she would just remain the owner. At the very least, Friedman is still an investor at Monkey Bar and an investor in Locanda Verde. Stay tuned for more.