-- Presidential candidate Donald Trump wants a prominent chef to pay $10 million in damages after the food star bailed on plans to open a new restaurant inside Trump’s latest project in the nation’s capital.
A group owned by Trump — Trump Post Office LLC — filed a lawsuit today in federal court.
Last year the group began $200 million in renovations on the historic Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington. And within months, chef Jose Andres announced he would be opening a new restaurant inside the new Trump International Hotel.
At the time, Andres issued a press release saying he has “long respected Donald Trump for his business acumen” and was “proud to partner with him,” the lawsuit recounts.
But after Trump made controversial remarks in June suggesting illegal immigrants from Mexico are criminals and “rapists,” Andres backed out. Since then, the two sides have been in a contentious, behind-the-scenes back-and-forth, according to the lawsuit.
“Mr. Andres’ offense is curious in light of the fact that Mr. Trump’s publicly shared views on immigration have remained consistent for many years, and Mr. Trump’s willingness to frankly share his opinions is widely known,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit says the two sides entered into a 10-year agreement for Andres “to operate a … flagship restaurant” in a 9,018 square-foot space, and Andres “was obligated to use and occupy the [space] as a first class, high quality, flagship, top-tier Washington, D.C. restaurant.”
An email seeking comment from a representative for Andres late Friday was not immediately returned.