Celebrity chef José Andrés is pushing back against a $10 million lawsuit filed by Donald Trump's organization.
Trump's team filed the suit after Andrés pulled out of a restaurant project slated to be built at Trump's planned luxury hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown D.C.
Andrés said that Trump's disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants make it impossible for Andrés to open a Spanish restaurant at the Trump International Hotel.
The chef's Think-Food-Group said Trump burdened the business with his "inflammatory statements," according to a statement reported by WTOP.
"This lawsuit is both unsurprising and without merit," the statement said in part. "Simply put, Mr. Trump's comments made ThinkFoodGroup's participation in this project impossible and constituted a breach which the landlord, Trump Old Post Office LLC, refused to remedy. And despite our attempts to negotiate an amicable resolution, we were ultimately forced to terminate the lease."
The statement said that Trump's comments made opening the restaurant "no longer viable," WTOP reported.
Trump made the comments while announcing his bid for president in June, saying that some Mexican immigrants are "bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
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Andrés says Trump's statements are a breach and the lawsuit is "without merit."
Andrés is an immigrant from Spain who recently became a U.S. citizen.
"More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status," Andrés said last month when announcing he planned to pull out of the restaurant.
The lawsuit -- which was filed Friday in federal court in D.C. -- says Andrés' decision has already cost Trump's organization millions of dollars. It says Andrés is obligated to build a restaurant there.
Donald Trump Jr., Trump's son and a Trump Organization executive, said Andrés has a 10-year lease.