Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
James Corden has broken his silence on his behaviour at New York restaurant, Balthazar, after the eatery temporarily barred him from returning.
The actor spoke about the incident in his opening speech on The Late Late Show, acknowledging that he had been “rude” and also explaining the story through his own eyes.
You can watch the apology below:
Owner Keith McNally had taken to social media to brand the Gavin and Stacey star a “tiny cretin of a man”, and went on to post details of two occasions where Corden had reportedly been “extremely nasty” to staff members.
However, in his speech, Corden said he initially hadn’t thought he’d done anything wrong, and was simply speaking up for his wife, who was given “food which she was allergic to”.
“Because I didn’t shout or scream, I didn’t get up out of my seat, I didn’t call anyone names or use derogatory language, I’ve been walking around thinking that I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said.
“But the truth is I have made a rude, rude comment. And it was wrong. It was an unnecessary comment, it was ungracious to the server.”
Corden said he reached out to the restaurant owner “immediately” after he saw his angry post, and adds that they “had a good talk”.
“He appreciated the call. I was happy that we got to clear the air. And I felt like we dealt with it privately… but by this point, the story was out there and more people were upset,” he said.
The TV star added: “I get it. I totally understand. I understand everybody getting upset, and I accept everybody’s opinion.”
When he’s back in New York, Corden also told the public he plans to visit the restaurant again, and “apologise in person”.
It comes after Balthazar’s owner had branded Corden the “most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago”.
The first incident was when Corden is said to have found a hair in his food – something McNally noted was “diabolical,” but still didn’t merit the reaction it got.
The restaurant owner said a staff member was “very apologetic”, but alleged that Corden had demanded a round of free drinks “this second”, and asked the restaurant to “take care of all our drinks so far,” unless they wanted a bad review.
The second incident came when Corden complained there was “a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk in his wife’s omelette.
McNally said that the kitchen promptly remade the dish, but then sent the TV star fries instead of salad.
“That’s when James Corden began yelling like crazy to the server: ‘You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!’”
When the manager spoke to Corden, the restaurant owner says that he “was pleasant to him but nasty to the server,” who is said to have been left “very shaken”.
A few hours after McNally posted the claims on social media, he says that Corden reached out to say sorry.
“Having f*cked up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances,” the restaurant owner said shortly afterwards, revoking the ban he had initially set.