A $95 million lawsuit has been filed against a restaurant owner behind several top East Village Japanese restaurants, Shuji Bon Yagi for allegedly sexually assaulting an employee this winter.
The lawsuit was filed by Nozomi Horikoshi, a top executive at Yagi’s restaurant group T.I.C., who claims Yagi allegedly assaulted her while she had passed out after a night of drinking and could not consent, according to the New York Post.
According to the allegations made in her file, Horikoshi, who has been employed by the well-known restaurateur for close to a decade, stated that he invited himself to celebrate the birthday of another female colleague “knowing that his wife was in Japan throughout the weekend.”
Horikoshi claimed that her boss forced her into a taxi sometime after 2:00 a.m. and then began groping, caressing, and attempting to kiss her when she was very intoxicated. She “tried to push Yagi off her and told him to stop, but due to her level of intoxication, the plaintiff eventually lost consciousness inside the taxi,” the filing alleges.
Yagi reportedly drove her directly to his residence on West 58th Street, as obtained from the GPS information from Horikoshi’s cell phone. Horikoshi ultimately awoke with her employer allegedly resting on top of her while she was naked from the waist down.
“I realized I was naked from the waist down … that was so embarrassing.” The 51-year-old married mother of three told the New York Post, “I was like what happened? I have to go home. I knew that something happened already,” she continued. “There was a feeling of shame.”
Horikoshi’s attorney claimed the lawsuit was about “power and accountability” for Yagi, a high-profile businessman renowned for influencing Japanese cuisine in New York.
Dubbed an “East Village ambassador for Japanese cuisine” by the New York Times, Yagi’s restaurants include Rai Rai Ken, Cha-An, Sobaya, and Bar Decibel.