Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 76° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Accusations Against ‘Gourmet’ Started In ‘81

From Staff And Wire Reports

“Frugal Gourmet” Jeff Smith was accused 16 years ago of sexually assaulting a teen boy, but no charges were ever filed, a newspaper reports.

In January 1981, Clinton Smith, who was handling bookkeeping chores for Jeff Smith’s Chaplain’s Pantry restaurant in Tacoma, was arrested for stealing money from the restaurant account.

Clinton Smith, who is not related to Jeff Smith, told two Tacoma police detectives he had taken the money to get back at the television chef for sexually assaulting him three weeks earlier, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Wednesday.

It is not clear from the police report or the court record whether the allegation was ever investigated, the P-I said.

Jeff Smith’s lawyer, Ed Winskill, said he believes his client was questioned by police or a prosecutor in 1981.

“He denied it, and he denies it completely today,” Winskill said. “The police and prosecutor took no further action.”

Clinton Smith told the officers that on Dec. 30, 1980, he went to Jeff Smith’s house to do some business paperwork and get a tour of the house. He said Jeff Smith gave him a glass of wine and then grabbed him, according to the police report.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.