Share story

WASHINGTON (AP) — Celebrity chef Mike Isabella once had more than a dozen restaurants in the Washington area. Now he’s filed for bankruptcy after a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The Washington Post reports the “Top Chef” alum filed for bankruptcy protection for his businesses on Thursday.

The March lawsuit by a former Mike Isabella Concepts top manager, Chloe Caras, accused Isabella and his partners of touching her without permission and talking about her buttocks. They denied it, the suit was settled in May, but the damage was done. Sales plummeted, the Washington Nationals cut ties and staffers quit.

Isabella says he hopes the bankruptcy filing will help avoid more restaurant closures. He spoke ahead of a Friday hearing involving his restaurant at the University of Maryland in College Park, where he’s fighting eviction.

___

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com