Discrimination | Food & Drink | New York

Just Desserts: Manhattan Waiter Files Discrimination Lawsuit

JeangeorgesA former waiter at swank Manhattan eatery Jean Georges has filed suit against the restaurant, claiming he was continually harassed by other members of the staff because he is gay.

Joseph Bassani claims that at a party for a departing chef de cuisine, staff members hired a female prostitute who engaged him in a simulated sex act. According to the NY Daily News, "the prostitute, who was naked, pushed him onto the top of one of the dining room tables [and] straddled him. Bassani shut his eyes and froze waiting for the assault to end." According to the papers filed, "[the woman charged at Bassani, pushed him onto the top of one of the dining room tables, straddled him, and began to gyrate ... within inches of his face.''

Bassani says that other members of the staff called him a "whore" and suggested he was "dying of AIDS" after he had lost some weight.

The restaurant, which is located in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, says that Bassani left in January 2006 on good terms.

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Comments

  1. Not to be suspicious, but if he left of his own accord an entire year ago, why is he suing now? Is he finally okay enough to talk about it... or did some lawyer say, "Hey, you know, you could make a ton of money off of this..."

    Posted by: Thor | Jan 15, 2007 1:04:38 PM


  2. What a pussy!!!... The waiter that is, LOL!

    Posted by: Marius | Jan 15, 2007 1:31:23 PM


  3. Methinks he doth protest overmuch. The waiter over reacted. Who do you know that would go berserk and faint if someone shoved a snatch in his face? It's only a body part, and it was meant in fun. Just show 'em we can be sports and laugh at ourselves; then they'll stop laughing. Works every time.

    Posted by: Michael Safdiah | Jan 15, 2007 1:45:44 PM


  4. No means No (fish)

    Posted by: m | Jan 15, 2007 1:49:36 PM


  5. Is it any wonder that it happened in a Trump building?

    I'm sure there is much more harrassment that we don't even know about. Yesterday a news article only printed the stripper part. Today we have more stuff. I hope they shut down and the workers never find work again. That would make my day.

    Posted by: Jack | Jan 15, 2007 1:53:01 PM


  6. ... honey if somebody shoved their snatch in my face, I'd sue, too... imagine the trauma!

    Posted by: miss dna | Jan 15, 2007 2:00:04 PM


  7. Or he could have just pushed her off the table. That would have been my reaction; I don't take kindly to the old snatch-in-the-face gag.

    Posted by: Eric | Jan 15, 2007 2:33:27 PM


  8. I agree with Eric; I would have fought her off.

    Posted by: Rad | Jan 15, 2007 3:28:44 PM


  9. Methinks he doth protest overmuch. The waiter over reacted. Who do you know that would go berserk and faint if someone shoved a snatch in his face? It's only a body part, and it was meant in fun. Just show 'em we can be sports and laugh at ourselves; then they'll stop laughing. Works every time.

    Posted by: Michael Safdiah | Jan 15, 2007 1:45:44 PM

    Dude, I would have kicked the bitch in the vag if she did that to me, just like I'd kick a dude in the balls if he stuck his crotch in my face like that.

    And would you say the same thing if a gay male stripper forced himself on a straight guy like that? I doubt it.

    Posted by: lulu | Jan 15, 2007 3:41:50 PM


  10. i worked for that company for 2 years and found them to be very gay friendly. i probably could have been sued for the remarks i made to some of the my straight coworkers. they knew it was all fun.

    Posted by: petey | Jan 15, 2007 4:19:32 PM


  11. This lawsuit is crap. I've been to most of Jean Georges restaurants multiple times. I've known several servers. They're all gay friendly. It's impossible to rise to the top of NYC's restaurant world and not be gay friendly. Frivolous lawsuit.

    Posted by: Dan | Jan 15, 2007 5:14:12 PM


  12. This lawsuit is crap. I've been to most of Jean Georges restaurants multiple times. I've known several servers. They're all gay friendly. It's impossible to rise to the top of NYC's restaurant world and not be gay friendly. Frivolous lawsuit.

    Posted by: Dan | Jan 15, 2007 5:15:53 PM


  13. Yes, this does seem to be frivolous. The waiter comes across as weak and meek. I mean, why not push her off, and call this what it in all likelihood was: A prank.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 16, 2007 8:15:08 AM


  14. Let me begin by saying that I despise EVERYTHING that Donald Trump stands for...
    After watching The Apprentice more than a few times, it seems to me that a pattern develops after Trump discovers that one of his applicants is gay. In short shrift, Miss Thing is summarily fired. Imagine that! Therefore, these allegations eminating from an employee in one of his buildings comes as no surprise.
    I believe that he is a sexist, homophobic, nacissistic PIG. Other than that, he might be OK (heheheh)!

    Posted by: John | Jan 16, 2007 11:22:39 AM


  15. Yikes! A gay waiter? Egads!

    Posted by: mark | Jan 16, 2007 4:27:57 PM


  16. Before I learned to trade sexual favors for real estate and stocks ("Like a Lady" as Karen Walker says...) I worked as a waiter in a number of NYC "finer" restaurants. There is not a Kitchen in Gotham where the dishwashers don't call gays "Mariposa" ("butterfly" in Spanish--or at least that's what they told me....) and where the gay boyz don't take an absolute DELIGHT in describing their most outlandish sexual exploits to the slack-jawed wonderment of their straight co-workers. Perhaps at a certain moment in time there existed a Kitchen where there existed an extremely unusual mix of intolerant and hostile heterosexuals and one lonely, scared gay boy. But I really doubt it...

    2. Just because the Donald owns the building, it doesn't mean he has ANYTHING to do with the goings-on in the Kitchen of a restaurant that rents space in the building.

    3. Despite everything I said in item No. 1, Stephen's comment really brought me up short. "Meek and weak". Well, who are the laws there to protect? The strong and invincible? No--the meek and weak. Maybe this guy is meek. And weak. Does that mean he should suffer harassment at work every day? Just because we're all fortunate enough to have ended up the shining fortresses of Gay Pride that we are, maybe this little boy didn't. And if it's all true--? He should sue their asses. For the meek shall inherit...

    Posted by: Zach | Jan 20, 2007 2:47:56 PM


  17. Obviously not a good waiter after all...they know how to work "under pressure"...

    Posted by: alan brickman | Jan 21, 2007 12:39:26 PM


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