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Harry's Bar chef named in sexual harassment pay-out case

30 March 2006

The chef at the centre of a massive sexual harassment payout is to continue working at a famous London private members' club.

Alberico Penati, executive chef at London celeb haunt Harry's Bar, will keep his job despite being named as the man fined £124,000 for sexually harassing a waitress.

Penati, who counted stars including Madonna, Elton John and Gwyneth Paltrow amongst his patrons at the private members' club, subjected waitress Iklarea Signoriello to four months of harassment and abuse.

He was reported to have repeatedly questioned her in "crude sexual terms" and bombarded her with phone calls and abuse.

Signoriello, 26, told the tribunal Penati would walk around the kitchen dressed only in his underpants, making sexual references to females.

She called for changes at the club and said she hoped that a "working environment will be established in which all employees are treated with dignity and respect".

Despite his conviction, a spokesman for the restaurant said Penati would not be fired. He added that the restaurant's management would ensure that nothing like this would happen again.

A statement released by Signoriello's lawyer said that she was pleased that the tribunal recognised "the seriousness of the harassment suffered by her".

It added that she was also pleased that the tribunal recognised the "bullying and humiliating atmosphere" within the kitchen at Harry's Bar, which affected others in addition to Ms Signoriello.

Mayfair chef found guilty of sexual harrassment >>
By Jessica Gunn

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