Mario Batali Sued By Former Pastry Chef Who Claims Managers Used Gay Slurs

“The abuse was hostile, aggressive, threatening, demeaning and embarrassing," says Isaac Franco Nava.

Mario Batali is being sued by a former pastry chef who claims managers at the superstar restauranteur’s eatery Babbo used anti-slurs and then had him fired when he complained.

Isaac Franco Nava, who is Mexican, filed suit on Wednesday, claiming two supervisors and a co-worker at the Greenwich Village restaurant called him “girly,” “faggot” and “parajo,” a Spanish word meaning “bird” also considered a derogatory term for homosexuals.

“The abuse was hostile, aggressive, threatening, demeaning and embarrassing,” he alleges.

babbo
Isaac Franco Nava/Babbo

Nava maintains he complained about the abuse and Batali’s corporate offices did discipline the managers. But the incidents started again last summer, and subsequent complaints went nowhere. In April, he maintains, his supervisors colluded to get him terminated by claiming he stole a pork chop he claims he had permission to take home for dinner. He was let go the next day.

Nava has named Batali, co-owner Joe Bastianich, and several co-workers in the suit, which asks for unspecified damages.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16:  Chef  Mario Batali attends the Mario Batali foundation honors dinner honoring Jose Andres at Del Posto Ristorante on October 16, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

In 2011, Babbo waiter Eugene Gibbons filed a lawsuit claiming co-workers regularly groped his genitals and smacked his buttocks during shifts. One reportedly bragged about masturbating to Gibbons’ picture after his wife fell asleep.

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