Waitress Harassed by Chef Awarded [Pounds Sterling]124,000

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

Waitress Harassed by Chef Awarded [Pounds Sterling]124,000


Byline: LECH MINTOWT-CZYZ

A WAITRESS subjected to a humiliating campaign of sexual harassment by a chef to the stars has been awarded [pounds sterling]124,000 compensation.

The woman was repeatedly quizzed in "crude sexual terms" by the chef about her sexual experience and her current partners at the members' club in Mayfair.

The chef - whose customers include Madonna, Hugh Grant, and Sir Elton John - "expressed a desire himself to have sex with her". The chairman of the central London tribunal described the chef, who is more than 20 years her senior, as a "very rude man" with a "greatly inflated sense of his own importance".

The 26-year-old waitress had already won her claim for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal.

She has been awarded [pounds sterling]124,000 following a hearing. Neither she nor the chef can be named for legal reasons.

Describing him as "extremely frightening and intimidating", the woman told how he would wander around the kitchen in his underpants and never refer to her by name, calling her "bella fica" and "bella gnocca" - sexual references.

She described how she became afraid for her health when, after 15 months at the restaurant, he assaulted her outside the premises.

In her witness statement, read out to the tribunal, she said: " Suddenly he grabbed me around my shoulders and pushed me against the wall. …

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