Celebrity TV chef Mark Sargeant was accused of sexually assaulting American Airlines flight attendant Kimberly Goesling while on a trip to Germany in January 2018 Tarrant County, Texas revealed last week.
Goesling claims Sargeant, a former protégé and head chef of Gordon Ramsay and later chief patron of King’s Cross restaurant Plum and Spilled Milk, attacked her in a hotel room at the end of an American Airlines-organized business trip. Sargeant had been commissioned by the airline to develop a special on-board menu for First Class and Business Class passengers.
Goesling claims American Airlines employees bought sargeant drinks and encouraged him to go after the flight attendant Goesling’s lawyer. He reportedly sent her a series of text messages asking her to come to his room for a drink after she returned to her room. She declined and stopped responding to his messages, she says.
Hours later, in the middle of the night, Sargeant woke her up while, according to the suit, he was knocking violently on her room door. As she opened the door, Sargeant allegedly broke in, grabbed Goesling before „thrusting his tongue into her mouth,” „grabbing her neck” and sexually assaulting her and blushing Dallas Morning News Reports.
„Although I do not acknowledge Ms. Goesling’s version of events, I sincerely apologize for the outrage of my behavior that night, the shame of my wife and the lack of respect for Ms. Goesling,” Sargeant is quoted as saying Kent Online.
After Goesling initially remained anonymous in the lawsuit, she went public with her allegations an interview with former Fox News presenter Gretchen Carlson, as part of their „Lift Up” series on YouTube last week. The flight attendant, who has worked for American Airlines for 30 years, is suing her employer for allegedly covering up her claims and intimidating her and her family members during an internal investigation into the incident. The airline confirmed to Eater that it was „severed” [its] Business relationship with [Sargeant]”After the allegations were first made.
Goesling said American Airlines „stopped them from reporting the incident” and the company spent time „interrogating and examining them” and interviewing their doctors Dallas Morning News Likewise Reports.
Goesling’s Dallas attorney Rob Miller, who also appears in Carlson’s interview, claims Sargeant previously admitted the attack. “He admitted to a number of American Airlines employees that he did this. You know that, ”says Miller. „He admitted it more than once.”
The chef has denied allowing the attack, telling the caterer and Kent Online, „Contrary to reports, I have never admitted sexual assault and am appalled by the allegations.” Kent Online too Reports that Sargeant says he reached an amicable settlement with Goesling in 2020 to resolve the matter.
Goesling tried to report the attack to the Texas authorities when she returned home from Germany. She was told there was „nothing they could do because the attack took place outside of their jurisdiction,” Miller said. No formal indictment of „Pear alleged to have been brought in the alleged attack” was made Dallas Morning News Reports.
In a statement sent to Eater on the morning of May 24th, an American Airlines spokesperson said, “American has an unwavering commitment to its team members and we strive to provide a safe and comfortable environment for everyone who works for our airline to offer.
“Immediately after reporting the incident, we conducted an investigation and broke off our business relationship with the accused. As this matter is an ongoing litigation, we have no further comments to make at this time other than to say that Ms. Goesling remains a valued member of our team. „
Sargeant and his agents did not immediately respond to Eater’s request for comment. But Sargeant is quoted by Kent Online as saying he is deeply ashamed of his behavior.
„While I was drunk, I went to Ms. Goesling’s hotel room under the false impression that she was interested in me,” Sargeant is quoted as saying. “I made it clear that I was interested in her, also by trying to kiss her. Mrs. Goesling said she was flattered but not interested. ”
Although Sargeant’s recent restaurant projects in London were comparatively indifferent, he was one of London’s most famous chefs in the late 1990s and early 2000s – one of the key lieutenants of London’s most famous chef and restaurateur, Gordon Ramsay. Sargeant worked with Ramsay at his first restaurant, Aubergine, in 1997 before serving three years as the sous-chef at Gordon Ramsay restaurant on Royal Hospital Road, the chef’s flagship restaurant in Chelsea between 1998 and 2001. That restaurant received 2001 three Michelin stars and has been maintaining them for 20 years.
After his stint on Royal Hospital Road, Sargeant opened the acclaimed (and now closed) Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, where he served as head chef from 2001 to 2008, and helped the restaurant earn a Michelin star in 2002.
This year Sargeant made an appearance on Channel 4’s Beat the cook in which amateur chefs compete with professional chefs in cook-offs for cash prizes.
A lawsuit to settle the lawsuit between Goesling and American Airlines is scheduled for July.