Superstar TV chef Mark Sargeant has been accused of sexually assaulting American Airways flight attendant Kimberly Goesling on a visit to Germany in January 2018, a lawsuit filed in Tarrant County, Texas revealed final week.
Goesling alleges that Sargeant, a former Gordon Ramsay protégée and head chef, and later the chef-patron of King’s Cross restaurant Plum and Spilt Milk, assaulted her in a lodge room on the finish of a enterprise journey organised by American Airways. Sargeant had been employed by the airline to develop a particular in-flight menu for firstclass and enterprise class passengers.
Goesling alleges that American Airways workers purchased Sargeant drinks and inspired him to pursue the flight attendant, in keeping with Goesling’s lawyer. He allegedly despatched her a sequence of textual content messages “begging her to return to his room for a drink” after she returned to her room, her lawsuit says. She declined and stopped responding to his messages, she says.
Hours later in the course of the night time, Sargeant woke her up whereas forcefully knocking on her room door, in keeping with the go well with. When she opened the door, Sargeant allegedly pressured his means in, grabbed Goesling earlier than he “pressured his tongue in her mouth,” “grabbed her by the neck” and sexually assaulted and raped her, in keeping with the lawsuit, the Dallas Morning Information experiences.
“Whereas I don’t recognise Ms Goesling’s model of occasions, I whole-heartedly apologise for the indignity of my behaviour that night time, the dishonour to my spouse and the dearth of respect proven in direction of Ms Goesling,” Sargeant is quoted as saying in Kent On-line.
Having initially remained nameless within the lawsuit, Goesling went public along with her allegations in an interview with former Fox Information host Gretchen Carlson, as a part of her “Raise Up” sequence on YouTube, final week. The flight attendant, who has labored for American Airways for 30 years, is suing her employer for allegedly overlaying up her claims and allegedly intimidating her and members of her household throughout an inner investigation into the incident. The airline confirmed to Eater that it “severed [its] enterprise relationship with [Sargeant]” after the allegations had been first made.
Goesling stated that American Airways “discouraged her from additional reporting the incident” and that the corporate hung out “interrogating and investigating her” in addition to interviewing her medical doctors, the Dallas Morning Information additionally experiences.
Goesling’s Dallas lawyer, Rob Miller, who additionally seems in Carlson’s interview, claims that Sargeant has beforehand admitted to the assault. “He admitted to numerous folks at American Airways that he did this; they know this,” Miller says. “He’s admitted it greater than as soon as.”
The chef has denied having admitted the assault, saying to the Caterer and Kent On-line, “Opposite to experiences, I’ve by no means admitted to sexual assault and I’m horrified by these allegations.” Kent On-line additionally experiences that Sargeant says he reached an amicable settlement in 2020 with Goesling to resolve the matter.
Goesling tried to report the assault to authorities in Texas when she returned residence from Germany. She was informed they may “do nothing as a result of the assault occurred exterior their jurisdiction,” Miller stated. No formal prices “seem to have been filed within the alleged assault,” the Dallas Morning Information experiences.
In a press release despatched to Eater the morning of 24 Might, an American Airways spokesperson stated, “American has an unwavering dedication to its group members and we’re dedicated to offering a secure and cozy setting for everybody who works at our airline.
“Instantly after the incident was reported, we performed an investigation and severed our enterprise relationship with the accused particular person. As a result of this matter entails ongoing litigation, we aren’t in a position to remark additional presently, apart from to say that Ms. Goesling stays a valued member of our group.”
Sargeant and his representatives didn’t instantly responded to Eater’s request for remark. However Sargeant is quoted by Kent On-line saying he was “deeply ashamed” of how he behaved.
“Whereas intoxicated, I went to Ms Goesling’s lodge room underneath the fallacious impression she was concerned about me,” Sargeant is quoted as saying. “I made clear that I used to be concerned about her, together with by trying to kiss her. Ms Goesling stated she was flattered however that she wasn’t .”
Though Sargeant’s most up-to-date restaurant tasks in London have been met with comparative indifference, he was amongst London’s most celebrated cooks within the late Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s — a key lieutenant of London’s most well-known chef-restaurateur Gordon Ramsay. Sargeant labored with Ramsay at his first restaurant, Aubergine, in 1997 earlier than spending three years as sous chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Street, the chef’s flagship Chelsea restaurant between 1998 and 2001. That restaurant earned three Michelin stars in 2001 and has retained them for 20 years.
Following his time at Royal Hospital Street, Sargeant opened the acclaimed (and now closed) Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s the place he labored as head chef from 2001 to 2008, serving to to earn the restaurant a Michelin star in 2002.
This yr, Sargeant has appeared on Channel 4’s Beat the Chef, wherein beginner cooks compete with skilled cooks in cooks-offs for money prizes.
A trial to settle the lawsuit between Goesling and American Airways is ready for July.