Renowned chef and television personality Gordon Ramsay has finally spoken up about a recent lawsuit targeting his new reality series, Kitchen Nightmares. He made his statements more than two weeks after a judge threw out the lawsuit and ordered Ramsay and the plaintiff, Martin Hyde, to enter arbitration.
“I would never-ever-ever dream of setting anything up,” Ramsay told TelevisionWeek last Friday. “I want to sleep at night. We were issued a writ because, God bless America, if the toilet paper is not thick enough and you come out with a rash on your ass [you’ll get sued].”
Hyde was fired from a Manhattan restaurant during the filming of Kitchen Nightmares, a series that follows Gordon Ramsay as he visits struggling restaurants and tries to aid the owners improve their businesses. In June, Hyde filed a $1 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Ramsay and the show’s producers, saying the they planted spoiled meat, rigged a chair to fall apart and hired actors to pose as guests while in the restaurant.
“The idea of bringing moldy food in and planting actors is a f**king joke,” Gordon Ramsay said. “There’s a man who got very scared and very embarrassed about his lack of professionalism. For a man to waste lawyers’ time and taxpayers’ money to get upset about something you’re the cause of…”
On the other hand, Carl Person, Hyde’s attorney, said that the show unfairly went after his client, making him a camera-ready villain for the series.
“[Mr. Hyde] wasn’t the one in charge of the kitchen,” Person said. “The person responsible left the restaurant a week earlier. They’re going to make him appear he was the one in charge and he wasn’t. They’re setting him up.”
The recent lawsuit is similar to allegations made against the UK version of the series, which Ramsay also hosts. The restaurant went out of business after it was featured in the show. A local newspaper then wrote an article regarding the bankrupt restaurant, saying the show was staged. Ramsay subsequently filed and won a libel suit against the newspaper.
“I don’t want to start that kind of bullsh*t over here,” he said. “You know it just scares me that litigation can just happen overnight, and then you’re on the defense.”
A crew member from Kitchen Nightmares, scheduled to premiere on FOX on September 19, told TelevisionWeek prior to their interview with Ramsay that the restaurants the show helped were “so disgusting,” they did not have to do anything to make them look bad. The crew member also said that though they got local patrons to fill the restaurants for some scenes, “they weren’t told to lie about their experience, only to be entertaining for the camera: ‘If you like the food, then really like it. If you don’t, then really don’t.’”
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of FOX)