A hostess at celebrity hot spot Nobu in Malibu filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the restaurant and a former supervisor alleging sexual harassment, battery, gender discrimination and retaliation.
The unnamed 23-year-old plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, is seeking a minimum of $500,000 in damages.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges systemic sexual harassment that is “rampant within the NOBU restaurant workplace,” a failure to protect its employees and specific examples of abuse by a former supervisor named Marcus, whose name is listed as unknown.
A woman who answered the phone Thursday morning at Nobu in Malibu said “no comment” and hung up when asked for her name. As of 11 a.m., an email to the restaurant group had not been answered.
Upscale Japanese restaurant founded by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro and film producer Meir Tepper. The global brand includes not only restaurants but also hotel chains. The Malibu location, where the alleged attack took place, is an iconic star-studded locale whose famous patrons include Rihanna, Bradley Cooper, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber and Cindy Crawford.
Marcus, named in the suit as the Nobu bar manager, allegedly repeatedly walked up behind the location’s hostesses and “lightly caressed their buttocks before they had a chance to avoid their advances” while remaining calm. The claim states that while drinking on the premises, Marcus’s advances became more aggressive.
Plaintiff alleges that Marcus asked for her phone number for personal reasons, during her first week of employment in June 2020, and repeatedly texted to request an in-person meeting outside of business hours. In early 2021, the plaintiff alleges, Marcus held her in an office to kiss her neck.
The lawsuit also alleges that the company encourages hostesses and servers to flirt with clients, and forces its hostesses to wear “skimpy black uniforms,” subjecting employees to unwanted sexual advances from both customers and managers, and does not enforce or do not comply Written company policies that will enforce these employee protections.
“As the first point of contact for NOBU customers plaintiff and young female hostesses like her, guests are expected to address and deflect whoever and whatever advances are made towards them with a smile on their face as they walk through the entrance door. .” Alleged Dr.
“Therefore, it is ironic that despite requiring its hostesses to dress scantily and address patrons of various levels of restraint, NOBU does little to protect its hostesses from unwanted and unwanted sexual advances that reflexively result.
“Because of their proximity to Hollywood stars and NOBU’s ‘please the customer first’ mantra, the plaintiff and other young female hostesses are performing the same role, tolerating direct sexual advances and abuse in the interests of maintaining NOBU’s glamorous (sic) reputation and keep their jobs.”
The plaintiffs in the suit and “several other hostesses” claim they reported these advances to Nobu Malibu management, and the claim states that in early 2022, Marcus was terminated as an employee.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Cindy Carcamo contributed to this report.