A Mexican former-diplomat has started a crowdfunding page to raise money to help the celebrated Spanish chef in his legal battle against Republican presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump.
José Andrés - a popular Spanish chef and television personality - pulled out of a restaurant venture in protest against comments made by Trump claiming most Mexicans in the US were "criminals and rapists".
But Trump did not take the snub lightly and hit back by slapping José Andres with a $10 million lawsuit, which Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup company called "unsurprising and without merit" in a statement following news of the lawsuit, which was filed on July 31st.
The page on crowdfunding site Indiegogo titled "Support chef José Andrés against Trump lawsuit" is aiming to raise $100,000 and has already amassed over $7,000 since being set up 13 days ago by former Mexican ambassador to China, Jorge Guajardo.
The crowdfunding page has already raised over $7,000 for the chef. Screen shot: indiegogo.com
Andrés was born in Mieres, a town in the province of Asturias in northern Spain. He trained under renowned chef Ferrán Adrià at El Bulli, named the world's best restaurant a record breaking five times before it closed in 2011.
He took US citizenship in 2013 and has often spoken of his pride of being an immigrant in the United States.
"More than half of my team is Hispanic, as well as many of our clients," the chef previously told Spanish newspaper El País.
"And as a proud Spanish immigrant, who recently obtained citizenship, I firmly believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status," he added.
Andrés announced in early July that he was pulling out of a venture to open a restaurant in a Trump-owned Washington hotel, due to open in 2016.
"The recent derogatory comments made by Donald Trump about immigrants have made it impossible for my business and me to continue with the opening of a Spanish restaurant in the Trump International Hotel in Washington," the chef said in a statement at the time.
"They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists," Trump said during his campaign launch in June about Mexican immigrants in the United States.
Druggies, drug dealers, rapists and killers are coming across the southern border. When will the U.S. get smart and stop this travesty?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2015