Justin Timberlake’s Wife Jessica Biel Slapped With Lawsuit: ‘7th Heaven’ Star Allegedly Stole From Employees
Jessica Biel has earned her fame for multiple reasons. Known for her breakout role playing rebel-without-a-cause Mary Camden on 7th Heaven, Jessica also has the real life role of Mrs. Justin Timberlake. The couple has one son, Silas, who is 2-years-old. Biel also recently returned to TV screens in The Sinner, all while juggling her entrepreneurial life as a co-owner of Au Fudge, a popular West Hollywood eatery that focuses on kid-friendly foods and atmosphere. Now, however, Biel is facing a different kind of fame, and it’s not the star-studded variety.
Jessica Biel Allegedly Kept Money That Should Have Been Distributed To Staff
According to She Knows, a group formed of ex-employees at Jessica’s restaurant has filed a lawsuit. In it, the former staffers are alleging that Biel and her restaurant co-owners stole thousands of dollars from its employees. The lawsuit claims that the allegedly stolen money was in the form of tips.
The just-filed lawsuit alleges that Jessica’s restaurant charges customers a 22 percent gratuity. But because that money reportedly is not passed onto the staff, the former employees claim that it amounts to a significant amount of money in allegedly stolen tips. The Blast obtained legal documents that revealed the exact allegations and who is involved. A total of nine ex-staff members got together in order to sue the five co-owners of Au Fudge, including Biel.
How could this happen? The lawsuit claims that in order to accommodate big private parties, Au Fudge was frequently reserved. In such situations, the customers received invoices that showed a 22 percent charge for “gratuity.” It’s not the practice of charging a gratuity that is at stake, however. Instead, the nine ex-staff members allege that they never received the percentage of that money that they feel should have been passed onto them.
Former Employees Question Tip Practices At Jessica Biel’s Restaurant
When depositions took place, former staff members who are not part of the lawsuit confirmed that they had experienced concern about the procedures connected with the gratuity. One ex-employee, Alexandra Desage, who was the director of events at Biel’s restaurant, noted that “every private event customer” with whom she worked assumed that the gratuity was intended for employees who were assigned to the private parties. Alexandra revealed that she could not recall a single instance where a customer gave employees tips in addition to paying the gratuity charge.
When Desage talked to one of the restaurant co-owners, she was told not to stress about the situation and informed that she didn’t comprehend.
“I don’t think you understand. Don’t worry about it,” the co-owner told Alexandra.
Another employee who is not part of the lawsuit against Jessica described her conversation with management about the situation. Jamie Aronson said when she talked to the general manager at the time about the restaurant allegedly holding onto tips that should have gone to staff, her concerns were dismissed. She quoted the individual as telling her that customers were more apt to be all right with paying the gratuity if they assumed the money went to staff.
“It’s all good. The customers are far more likely to be OK with 20 plus percent if they think that amount is going to the employees.”
In all, however, the nine ex staff members involved in the lawsuit allege that they lost a total of $430,100 in tips. In addition, the group is seeking an additional $1 million in punitive damages.
Jessica Biel Was Having a Golden Year
The news of the lawsuit comes at a time when Biel’s star has never looked brighter. E News noted that in addition to cherishing her life as Mrs. Justin Timberlake and mommy to Silas, Jessica succeeded in turning heads when she showed up at the Oscars in a gold Kaufman Franco gown that dazzled with the addition of a $2 million gold and diamond Tiffany necklace. Her return to TV in The Sinner gave Biel the opportunity to take on new challenges in her career.
Jessica has credited her experience as a mom for allowing her to become more “openhearted” in her work life.
“I don’t know if that sounds kind of goofy,” she added. “I just feel like I’m always ready for anything and everything at this point.”
But was Jessica ready for that lawsuit? People magazine reported that a representative for the restaurant was not available for comment, but noted that Biel has talked about the financial aspect of the restaurant. The eatery opened in March 2016 with a desire to give adults and children a new experience in dining together. Earlier this year, Jessica commented on the money.
“[We’re] definitely not making money.”
Biel also noted that in her experience, “nobody’s making money in the restaurant business, in my experience, at least not yet.”
[Featured Image by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for GLSEN]