The Trump Organization and chef José Andrés have agreed to settle a legal dispute that began nearly as soon as the current President began running for office.
The settlement, the terms of which were not disclosed, was announced in a joint statement between Andrés’ company, ThinkFoodGroup, and the Trump Organization on Friday. The Washington Post first reported the news.
The dispute began when, in the announcement of his candidacy for president, Donald Trump referred to undocumented Mexican immigrants to the United States as “rapists” among other things.
Andrés, who had agreed to open a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., announced after the speech that he would pull out of the deal.
“Donald Trump’s recent statements disparaging immigrants make it impossible for my company and I to move forward with opening a successful Spanish restaurant in Trump International’s upcoming hotel in Washington, D.C.,” he said at the time, in a statement to the Washington Post. “More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.”
Andrés’ was one in a wave of businesses to cut off deals with Trump and his company.
The Trump Organization sued, saying: “Mr. Andres’ offense is curious in light of the fact that Mr. Trump’s publicly shared views on immigration have remained consistent for many years, and Mr. Trump’s willingness to frankly share his opinions is widely known.”
Andrés said the suit was “unsurprising and without merit.”
Now, nearly two years later, the dispute has come to an end.
Donald Trump Jr., who has taken control of his father’s company along with his brother, Eric, said in a joint statement from both groups: “I am glad that we are able to put this matter behind us and move forward as friends. Since opening in September 2016, Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C. has been an incredible success and our entire team has great respect for the accomplishments of both José and TFG. Without question, this is a ‘win-win’ for both of our companies.”
Andrés said in the statement that he was “pleased” that the groups had resolved their differences and were able to “move forward cooperatively, as friends.”
“I have great respect for the Trump Organization’s commitment to excellence in redeveloping the Old Post Office,” he continued. “At TFG, we have long been committed to using our resources to improve the D.C. community as well as the lives of those less fortunate by our active involvement in D.C. Central Kitchen, World Central Kitchen and many other worthwhile causes. Going forward, we are excited about the prospects of working together with the Trump Organization on a variety of programs to benefit the community.”
Read the joint statement below, via the Trump Organization: