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Trump settles lawsuit against Spanish celebrity chef

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Trump settles lawsuit against Spanish celebrity chef
José Andrés called on Trump to donate the settlement to charity. Photo: indiegogo.com
09:18 CEST+02:00
The Trump Organization, the conglomerate that unites the US president's family business interests, has settled lawsuits with two celebrity chefs who refused to work at the company's new Washington hotel.

The firm announced the agreement with Geoffrey Zakarian on Monday, three days after announcing the deal with Spanish-born José Andrés .   

The Trump Organization, from which President Donald Trump has refused to divest fully but which is now run by his adult sons, made the terms of neither settlement public.

Then real estate tycoon Donald Trump sued Andrés for $10 million in July 2015 after he backed out of a contract to open a Spanish fine dining restaurant in Trump's luxury hotel down the street from the White House.   

The chef said he pulled out because Trump called Mexicans rapists, remarks made when he launched his then wild-card bid for the Republican nomination for president.

Trump filed a similar lawsuit against Zakarian, who also pulled out of a deal to open a restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

Donald Trump Jr., now running the Trump Organization with younger brother Eric, issued statements welcoming both settlements. As did the two award-winning chefs.

"Going forward, we are excited about the prospects of working together with the Trump Organization on a variety of programs to benefit the community," said Andrés .

In December, Andrés , who owns several restaurants in the US capital and elsewhere in the country, proposed to Trump via Twitter, that they settle their differences "in a friendly way" and donate the money to a charity.   

Trump gave sworn testimony in the Andrés lawsuit just two weeks before being sworn in as 45th US president.   

They are not the first settled amid Trump's rise to political power.    Shortly after his November 8th election, Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits over alleged fraud at Trump University.

On December 24th, he also announced he would dissolve his controversial philanthropic foundation, the Trump Foundation.    

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

Coverage by The Washington Post of Trump's dubious claims to have donated to veterans won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday.

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