Southampton French restaurant Maison Vivienne is under fire after a video surfaced of its owner calling the police on a black woman who was smoking “in her neighborhood.”
In the series of videos posted to Instagram this weekend, NYC-based restaurant owner and socialite Svitlana Flom is shown calling the police, saying that an “African American” woman is “harassing” her and “threatening” her children. It was filmed by a woman who is black and goes by @_brownsugarbaby on Instagram; in the video, she says that Flom, who is white, was calling the police about her, though she was not doing anything.
In the caption to her now-viral Instagram post, the woman claims that Flom, a pregnant mother, first called the police claiming that the woman was smoking marijuana in public, but then Flom called a second and third time, alleging that the woman was “threatening her and her children.” In the video, Flom’s children can be seen playing on scooters and running in a nearby park while she speaks with the police. The video also shows Flom on the phone, and in one instance, Flom requests that the person shooting the video walk to the police station with her.
Flom told the New York Post that the woman “ran in my face” and alleged that that the video had been “edited” to make her “look like a racist.” She “put her narrative on it to make me look like a racist,” Flom said of the Instagram post. “She twisted the entire thing like she’s some poor girl sitting alone on a bench and I’m white trash, harassing her for no reason.”
Yelp users flooded the now-shuttered Upper East Side location of Maison Vivienne with one-star reviews, calling the owner of the establishment “racist” and comparing her to Amy Cooper, the white woman who was fired after a viral video showed her calling the police on a black bird watcher in Central Park. Others likened Flom’s police calls to acts of violence, connecting the video to the nationwide protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by the Minnesota Police Department.
The one-star reviews for the restaurant’s UES location span more than 15 pages at the time of writing and appear to come mostly from users outside of New York City; Yelp has put a notice on the pages saying that they are being monitored. The Yelp page for the restaurant’s Southamptons location also received several one-star reviews over the weekend, though far fewer.
Maison Vivienne, which is located in the Hamptons, previously had a second location on the Upper East Side, though it has now closed.
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From 6:15pm - 7:31pm this woman, Svitlana Flom, artdefete felt the need to not only approach me but call the cops MULTIPLE TIMES ON ME!! She was too “Alarmed” that I was sitting “comfortably” in “her neighborhood!” The first call was because she THOUGHT I was smoking in public.. but by the 3rd call, it was bcuz I was “threatening her & her children !!” While giving my description, she exaggerated her story & made it seem like I was the aggressor. “THIS AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN IS ATTACKING ME AND MY CHILDREN!” She had tears that were off & on & she stated things like “She’s pulling the black card!” Then wanted me to walk to the boys w/ her ♀️ I probably could have just walked away!! I probably should have kept my mouth shut right ?! NAHHH!! I couldn’t understand why she was so mad ! Like ummmm first of alllll I pay alllll mine over here Miss Lady !! How you come over here just feeling sooooo privileged & soooo comfortable enough to tell me I should leave ?! You’re buggin !! NOT THIS ONE!! She wanted to be a victim soooo bad!! NOT ONE PERSON CAME TO HER AID!! MULTIPLE PPL witnessed the ordeal & just wanted to make sure I was ok! SHARE THESE VIDEOS AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE !! #SvitlanaFlom @maisonvivinyc @allsetnow @huffpost @ariannahuff