Trump Deposed In Lawsuit Against Celebrity Chef Andres

Trump deposed in lawsuit against celebrity chef Andres

NEW YORK, Jan 6, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 06th Jan, 2017 ) - President-elect Donald Trump gave sworn testimony Thursday in his $10 million lawsuit against celebrity chef Jose Andres for canceling a deal to open a restaurant in Trump's new Washington hotel.

The deposition of Trump, who takes office on January 20, lasted just over one hour, said Alan Garten, the chief attorney for The Trump Organization, the holding company for the property tycoon's businesses.

Trump sued Andres in July 2015 after the Spanish-born chef backed out of a contract to open a Spanish fine dining restaurant in Trump's new luxury hotel down the street from the White House. Andres said he pulled out over remarks by Trump, then a Republican presidential contender, criticizing Mexicans as rapists.

According to Trump's lawsuit, he is seeking damages that exceed $10 million. Last month, the award-winning Andres, who owns several restaurants in the US capital and elsewhere in the country, proposed to the president-elect, via Twitter, that they settle their differences "in a friendly way" and donate the money to a charity.

But Garten indicated that such a settlement was not on the horizon. "The case is fairly straightforward," Trump's lawyer said. "In short, the parties entered into a valid and enforceable lease, which the tenant clearly breached by walking out and failing to perform its obligations, thereby entitling the landlord to recover damages in the form of unpaid rent, cost of build out, lost profits and other expenses.

" Andres' ThinkFoodGroup declined to comment Thursday.

The Trump Organization did not say where the deposition was held. According to Politico, it was videotaped at Trump's headquarters in Trump Tower in New York, where the future president is holding meetings before his inauguration.

Trump filed a similar lawsuit against chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who also pulled out of a deal to open a restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The lawsuits are among legal actions that could cloud the presidency of the businessman, who has already taken steps to end some of those entanglements.

Just after his November 8 election, Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits over alleged fraud at Trump University. And on December 24, he announced he would dissolve his controversial philanthropic foundation, the Trump Foundation, to avoid conflicts of interest.

The New York State attorney general had ordered Trump's foundation in September to stop soliciting charitable donations in the state.