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Chef Besh steps down from company amid sexual harassment investigation, report says

John Besh. Source: Flickr Creative Commons John Besh. Source: Flickr Creative Commons
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

A famed New Orleans chef has stepped down from his company.

Chef John Besh stepped down from his company Besh Restaurant Group just two days after an investigation by NOLA.com | The Times Picayune revealed that 25 employees claimed to have been sexually harassed at Besh's restaurants. 

Besh made the announcement through his company executive Shannon White, according to the report.

White sent a letter to his staff on Besh's behalf.

According to the report, Besh cited wanting to spend more time with his family as the reason for his decision. 

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune released an eight-month investigation into the claims made by 25 current and former employees. 

Besh, who is co-owner of the Besh Restaurant Group, told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune in a statement that, "I alone am entirely responsible for my moral failings. This is not the way the head of a company like ours should have acted, let alone a husband and father."

While Besh has admitted to an extra marital affair in his statement, he has not denied nor admitted to the countless accusations made against him by the women.

Dan Real, Caesars Entertainment regional president-south and Harrah’s New Orleans General Manager, said that management is not taking the investigation or allegations lightly and severed ties with the group. 

The New Orleans based TV station WYES also cut ties with Besh stating the company "would not want any viewers to think that broadcasts of those programs represented condonation of actions of the type alleged."

"Within the industry, it's very well publicly known. There's very few secrets in New Orleans in general and there's definitely few secrets in the restaurant world," New Orleans food writer Lorin Gaudin said.

Gaudin claims she knew about the allegations against Besh for more than a decade but that the accusations fell on deaf ears.

She believes even though the allegations have an impact on the local restaurant scene, the industry will survive the scandal.

"This is still a great New Orleans restaurant scene, very robust and really delicious. I just think it will mean that people will be a little more thoughtful and careful about what they say," she said. "A little more thoughtful about their words and deeds, and I think the beat will go on." 

You can read the entire the story regarding the investigation here. 

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved. 

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