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It’s been a lively few days for restaurant world lawsuits and garden-variety sordid allegations.
Last week kicked off with Alan Richman’s account of his disastrous dining experience at M. Wells, which came complete with reportedly lousy service and an accusation of “hardy” ass-patting. On Friday, the Internet learned that Lidia Bastianich was being sued for $5 million by a woman who claimed that Bastianich kept her as an indentured servant.
And now both the New York Daily News and the New York Post are reporting that Alan Harding, the chef and restaurateur behind Patois, the Gowanus Yacht Club, and the ill-fated Hot Bird food truck, is being sued by his almost-ex-wife, Leslie Parks, for allegedly shortchanging her on the proceeds from the sale of their home.
Per the News, Parks claims that Harding, who in 2008 the New York Times described as “seeding the culinary flowering of Brooklyn,” was supposed to put $115,000 from the sale of the couple’s home into an escrow account for their two kids. Instead, he allegedly put only $28,000 into the account, and gave the rest to his brother.
Parks’s suit also contends that since she filed for divorce in 2009, Harding has consistently failed to pay child support; the suit seeks damages in excess of $1 million. Parks’s lawyer told the News that getting payments from Harding has been difficult because he runs a cash business. Aspiring chef groupies, consider yourselves warned.