Less than a week after a hostess at Nobu in Malibu filed a lawsuit against the popular restaurant and a former supervisor, a second hostess at the restaurant has come forward and also sued the restaurant, similarly alleging sexual assault, sexual harassment and discrimination.

The unnamed plaintiff, referred to as Jayne Doe 2 in the suit, seeks at least $500,000 in damages plus attorney fees, according to the complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The allegations are similar to those of the first hostess, referred to as Jane Doe, who sued last week. In that suit, the plaintiff sued the restaurant and the same restaurant supervisor and former bar manager — identified only as Marcus in the complaints — alleging battery, gender discrimination and retaliation.

Jayne Doe 2 felt compelled to speak out after reading about the first case, said her attorney Michelle Iarusso.

“At first she was afraid to come forward. However, she did not want Jane Doe 1 to stand alone because she knew that the allegations were true and she had also been harassed,” Iarusso said Wednesday. “Jane Doe 1 inspired her to stand up and speak out.”

The lawsuits filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court allege systemic sexual harassment that “runs rampant inside the Nobu restaurant workplace,” failure to protect its employees and assault by the former supervisor named Marcus, whose surname is listed as unknown.

On Wednesday, a manager who answered the phone at Nobu Malibu said “we don’t have a comment” when asked about the allegations in both lawsuits.

Nobu Malibu, an upscale Japanese restaurant founded by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro and film producer Meir Teper, is a celebrity hot spot. The global brand includes not only restaurants but also a hotel chain.

The Malibu location, where the assaults allegedly occurred, is a star-studded locale whose patrons have included Rihanna, Bradley Cooper, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber and Cindy Crawford.

These lawsuits are the latest in a string of litigation against Nobu. In the last decade, the Nobu brand has been sued multiple times in different locations over allegations including sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

In the complaint, Jayne Doe 2 alleges that a former supervisor named Marcus first expressed interest in her during the period around Halloween 2021, when she showed him a few photos of her and her friends in costumes. According to the court documents, he singled her out and said he was not interested in the costumes and complimented her “smooth legs.”

In early December, the plaintiff was working a midday shift when Marcus, the floor manager at the time, walked up behind her and positioned himself so that his penis rubbed against her, according to court documents.

“I heard you like your hair pulled,” Marcus said, according to the complaint.

“You heard wrong,” the plaintiff responded, according to the complaint.

Another hostess saw the assault and immediately reported it to management, the lawsuit states. The complaint states that the plaintiff and other hostesses reported the incident to supervisors, who said they would investigate and provide updates.

The plaintiff and other hostesses never heard about the progress of the investigation but found out from another restaurant employee that Marcus had been “quietly terminated” in early 2022, according to the lawsuit.

At one point, the plaintiff was sexually harassed by a patron as she seated him and other guests, the complaint alleges. After seating the patrons, she bent down to grab excess plates when the patron licked his lips, told her she was beautiful, leered at her and complimented her legs, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint states that the plaintiff told her supervisor, who responded that she could not care less and had no time for the plaintiff’s complaints.

Both lawsuits allege that Nobu encourages hostesses and servers to flirt with clientele, and requires its hostesses to wear “scantily clad black uniforms,” subjecting its employees to unwanted sexual advances from both customers and managers, and does not enforce or comply with written company policies that would enforce protection of these employees.

“As the first point of contact for Nobu customers Plaintiff, and young female hostesses like her, are expected to address and deflect whoever and whatever advances are made toward them, with a smile on their face, as guests walk through the entry doors,” the complaints state.

Times staff writer Stephanie Breijo contributed to this report.

Cindy Carcamo

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