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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Trump settles 2-year-old lawsuit with celebrity chef Andres

President Donald Trump listens to a question as he meets with reporters on Air Force One while in flight from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., to Palm Beach International Airport, Fla., Thursday, April 6, 2017. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)
By Andrew Harris Bloomberg

President Donald Trump has settled yet another lawsuit, this time with celebrity chef Jose Andres over a scrapped restaurant at Trump’s Washington hotel.

The lawsuit was one of two Trump filed in 2015 after restaurateurs who abandoned plans to establish eateries in the 263-room Trump International Hotel. Andres and chef Geoffrey Zakarian both canceled planned restaurants after Trump kicked off his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists.” The deportation of undocumented immigrants and construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall were centerpieces of Trump’s presidential campaign.

“I am glad that we are able to put this matter behind us and move forward as friends,” Donald Trump Jr. said in a statement released Friday by the Trump Organization and Andres’s company, ThinkFoodGroup.

Trump sued Andres for breach of contract in July 2015 seeking $10 million in damages. Andres countersued for at least $8 million, money he said was spent on developing his restaurant location at the hotel before being compelled to withdraw. Terms of the settlement are confidential, according to the statement.

The deal follows Trump’s $25 million settlement in November over his defunct Trump University. Former students are poised to recoup 80 cents for every dollar spent on real-estate seminars they claimed were based on false promises. In December, lawyers for the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas told a U.S. appeals court that it resolved issues that led to a National Labor Relations board determination it had violated federal law by refusing to bargain with a union.

Trump’s lawsuit against Zakarian is still spending. In January, both sides said talks were at an “impasse.” Trump is seeking about $14 million in damages in that case.