Chef José Andrés and President Donald Trump have settled their two-year-old legal dispute, the Washington Post reports. The ongoing battle had stemmed from Andrés’s July 2015 decision to pull out of a planned restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC: Andrés’s move, citing the then-presidential candidate’s offensive remarks against Mexican immigrants, led to a lawsuit filed by Trump Old Post Office LLC later that July seeking $10 million in damages for breach of contract; Andrés counter-sued in October 2015, seeking $8 million.
Trump and Andrés released a joint statement earlier today announcing the settlement, although exact terms were not disclosed. “I am pleased that we were able to resolve our differences and move forward corporately, as friends,” Andrés said in the statement. “Going forward, we are excited about the prospects of working together with the Trump organization on a variety of programs to benefit the community.” Meanwhile, Donald Trump, Jr., who co-runs the Trump Organization, said in the same statement that “I am glad that we are able to put this matter behind us and move forward as friends.”
Before today’s announcement, the pair were locked in an embittered battle not just in the courts, but also in the press. In December 2016, just two days before a Washington, DC judge ruled that the President could be deposed and required to provide testimony, Andrés offered an olive branch to the Trump Organization, suggesting on Twitter that he and the President should drop their respective suits and instead donate the money to veterans’ non-profit groups. In February of this year, Andrés told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the offer had gone unacknowledged from the Trump camp.
As recently as last month, Andrés told the Eater Upsell that he had zero regrets for taking legal action, although he did suggest lines of communication between himself and Trump were once reasonably open. “He listened, and quite frankly I was expecting that there was going to be a little change, of course, but he didn’t,” Andrés said of a conversation the duo had at an undisclosed date. “I hope he follows his The Art of the Deal, the so-called best seller,” Andrés said then. “When making a deal, sometimes you bring everybody along, and I hope he will do that.”
Eater has reached out to Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup for further comment.
• Trump Organization Settles Restaurant Suit With Chef José Andrés [WaPo]