Dig Baton Rouge

Besh restaurants rocked by sexual assault claims

A report by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune gathered claims from 25 different women that celebrity New Orleans chef John Besh and his restaurant group promoted a culture of sexually assaulting female employees without consequence.

The investigation from writer Brett Anderson spanned eight months and involved former as well as current employees of the Besh Restaurant Group, co-owned by John Besh. The report says they experienced male colleagues touching them without consent, commented suggestively about their looks, and in some instances tried to use positions of authority to demand sex.

Two women filed claims with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission calling out the actions of Besh and other employees, which they said also included retaliation according to the report.

NOLA.com said they interviewed Besh earlier in October, and he sent a written statement later that apologized for his “reckless actions” and “moral failings.” The report said the Besh Restaurant Group did not have a human resources department which would have handled any such harassment claims, until they established one in early October.

The accusations have already caused Harrah’s Casino to sever ties with the group. The Advocate reported Harrah’s confirmed they are ending their relationship with BRG, and changing the name of Besh Steak inside their New Orleans casino. The casino’s general manager said the restaurant was always run by the casino and its workers employed by Harrah’s.

You can read the full investigation here.

Image: Besh Restaurant Group

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