The lawyer whose angry, racist rant went viral last week has finally apologized — following blowback like losing his office space, calls for disbarment from government officials, and a 500-person protest outside his apartment.
Aaron Schlossberg tweeted out a statement on Tuesday apologizing for the incident, where he yelled at two people in a restaurant speaking in Spanish to each other and demanded that they “speak English.”
The 42-year-old wrote in the statement that “I see my words and actions hurt people, and for that I am deeply sorry.” He added that he is “not racist,” saying that he moved to New York to be around the “remarkable diversity.”
“Seeing myself online opened by eyes — the manner in which I express myself is unacceptable and is not the person I am,” the statement says.
It’s the first public statement that the attorney has given since backlash from across NYC — though not for lack of trying to get one from local press. After being identified as the man in the video, Schlossberg has been followed around by video cameras and reporters; he has so far ignored them.
In the video, Schlossberg threatens to call Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on a restaurant worker and a customer at Fresh Kitchen who were speaking in Spanish to each other. “They have the balls to come here and live off of my money,” he says in the video. “I pay for their welfare; I pay for their ability to be here. The least they could do is speak English.”
The lawyer’s new statement says, “What the video did not convey is the real me.” The Post spoke to current and former clients who said they’d never heard Schlossberg say anything bigoted or racist — but one former client did say that the guy had a temper. “When we stopped working [with him], he started screaming and all this stuff,” the client said.
Meanwhile, the City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus sent a letter to the Manhattan Appeals Court today calling for Schlossberg to get disbarred, the Daily News reports. It follows the calls from Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for him to lose his right to practice law.