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Mike Isabella’s Investors May Hold Him Accountable for Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Fresh legal challenges could come from those who financed the Top Chef alum’s empire

Restaurateur Mike Isabella on an episode of Bravo’s Top Chef Duels. 
Bravo/Getty Images

At least one investor who put money into the restaurants Mike Isabella has established over the past few years is reportedly pursuing legal action against the Top Chef alum and his business partners following allegations of sexual harassment at his company.

The Washington Post reports that unlike other high profile chefs embroiled in recent sexual misconduct scandals, Isabella may remain in power thanks to the way Mike Isabella Concepts is structured. Per the Post, there is no board of directors to answer to; few shareholders own the type of stock required to weigh in on day-to-day operations; and MIC allegedly kept its investors “separate and apart,” making it difficult for any collective activity by unfamiliar members of the group.

More importantly, Graffiato investor and partner Hilda Staples told the Post there was little appetite to oust the embattled leader because “all the investors invested in Mike Isabella.” One unnamed investor, however, is so unnerved by the recent episode that “he is pursuing legal action against Mike Isabella and his partners.”

On May 7 Isabella settled a lawsuit filed by former Isabella Eatery manager Chloe Caras. Caras accused Isabella and several members of MIC’s management team of repeatedly harassing her. Isabella denied the allegations. The legal teams did not disclose the financial terms of the lawsuit, but both sides said changes to MIC’s workplace will be enacted.

Isabella Eatery

2001 International Drive, McLean, VA 22102 (571) 489-8505 Visit Website