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Real estate website DC CONDO Boutique published an article this morning encouraging would-be condo owners to consider sharing an address with Chef Mike Isabella.
The post by Mark Washburn, who blogs regularly for the site, leads with: “The famed DC waterfront just gained a new, celebrity owner. Former “Top Chef” Mike Isabella and his wife reportedly just purchased a condo at The Wharf. The couple closed on a condo within VIO, only a couple of blocks away from Isabella’s Requin restaurant, making for an easy stroll to work, at least for one of his properties.”
While most individuals and organizations are weighing how to best distance themselves from Isabella—including the Nationals, Chef Mike Rafidi, charities, and even his former publicity firm—Washburn is cozying up and using Isabella’s perceived prowess to sell real estate. Note he doesn’t list Isabella’s wife by name.
The post continues: “In all, Isabella owns more than a dozen restaurants in the DC area, with many of them attracting celebrity clients, from politicians to rock stars. Until recently the couple listed an address in Chinatown, not far from the chef’s very first restaurant. The newest home, though, a $2.19 million condo in VIO, puts the couple within a glamorous new building that’s already said to be more than 80-percent sold. VIO promotes itself as a sophisticated setting, filling its condos with an abundance of natural light.”
A lawsuit emerged last Monday accusing Isabella and several of his partners of “extraordinary” sexual harassment. The Washington Post broke the news, but a full cast of local and national news outlets covered the allegations, including The Atlantic, Grub Street, and Food & Wine.
The lawsuit describes a long list of offenses: unwelcome touching, sexual advances, vulgar and explicitly sexual remarks and gestures, sexist insults and texts, and the dissemination of malicious and false rumors about her sexual history and activities. It says that hiring managers were directed to hire women who were “hot or good looking” and that Isabella and his partners frequently commented on women’s physical attributes. It continues to read that the partners also “expressed their contempt for women” by calling them “bitches” and “whores.”
City Paper published the lawsuit in its entirety. Washingtonian highlighted some particularly troubling excerpts.
Isabella, speaking through his lawyer, says the allegations are false. And it’s possible, given the circumstances, that he doesn’t want people to know where he lives.