The group developing Donald Trump's grand renovation of Washington's Old Post Office Pavilion has sued chef Jose Andres for $10 million, claiming Andres breached his contract to build a flagship restaurant in the hotel after Trump said Mexican immigrants bring drugs and crime.
Andres had a 10-year deal to open an almost 10,000-square-foot restaurant in the $200 million Trump International Hotel.
But Andres cut ties with the business magnate July 8, after Trump's comments June 16. The comments led to protests outside the planned D.C. hotel.
Andres told the Washington Post it would be "impossible" for him to open a restaurant in that location.
Trump's developer alleges he has suffered millions of dollars in damages, including legal fees, the cost of hiring a new tenant and more. And the suit dryly says that Andres should have known Trump was going to say something that would raise hackles.
"Mr. Andres' offense is curious in light of the fact that Mr. Trump's publicly shared views on immigration have remained consistent for many years, and Mr. Trump's willingness to frankly share his opinions is widely known," reads the suit, filed in federal court Friday.
Andres had praised Trump for his "business acumen," when the agreement was announced in January, and said in a press release, "I have long respected Donald Trump for his business acumen and am proud to partner with him to create a truly remarkable, fine dining restaurant in the city I have called home for many years."
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The suit also notes that Andres left the deal more than a week after he was expected to present documents showing construction progress.
Trump sent a notice to Andres on July 17, giving him 10 days to produce the documents. The same day, Andres sent Trump a notice, alleging that Trump's speech had breached the sublease.
Andres also "demanded that Trump's personal opinions not be "repeated, restated, or further disseminated," according to the lawsuit.
Trump's developer claims there are no provisions in the sublease that grant Andres the right to terminate the sublease based on offended feelings.