May 30, 2024
Notorious New York City restaurateur Keith McNally incited the ire of Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Seinfeld and others when he attacked Jeff Bezos's glamorous fiancee on Instagram.

When New York City restaurateur Keith McNally called James Corden a “tiny Cretin of a man” in 2022, he was able to count on swaths of support among people who tend to agree that the former late-night host is one of today’s more annoying celebrities.

But it looks like McNally, the owner of famed eatery Balthazar, has gone too far with one of his brash and provocative opinions about another famous person. In an Instagram post Monday, he called Lauren Sanchez “absolutely revolting” and said that she and her fiancé, multibillionaire Amazon fonder Jeff Bezos, make “an ugly and (expletive) smug-looking couple.”

“Is this what having 1000 billion dollars does to people?” McNally asked.

For some reason, McNally doesn’t seem to know that it’s not considered cool to comment on women’s looks. He also insulted a woman who is well-regarded by others in her elite social class, people who view her as a beautiful, kind, accomplished woman.

Some of those people came to Sanchez’s defense on McNally’s Instagram, including Chrissy Teigen. The model and influencer is no stranger to the nastiness of social media, both as a well-known target of online vitriol and as an alleged cyberbully.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 10: (L-R) Lauren Sánchez and Jeff Bezos attend the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images) 

“She’s actually incredibly dynamic, accomplished and kind, and everyone who knows her would say the same,” Teigen wrote in defense of Sanchez. Teigen has seemed to adopt a kinder, gentler tone since 2021, when she was embroiled in scandal and suffered severe damage to her reputation, due to revelations that she sent direct messages to a teenage model in 2011, telling her to kill herself.

Teigen wasn’t Sanchez’s only famous defender against McNally. MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle replied that Sanchez, a businesswoman, helicopter pilot, philanthropist and former TV news personality, is “accomplished, kind, smart and loved.”

Ruhle also said, “Social media is fun, but this is not. It is just mean for no reason. If we all took a breath and thought about what it feels like to be mocked and teased, we’d do a lot less of it.”

Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, was even more pointed in her takedown of the Balthazar owner, saying his post “is a reflection of (his) twisted, pitiful, and hideous mind,” the Daily Beast reported. Seinfeld also called McNally a vulgar name after she said he bad-mouthed her editor in front of a room full of people at a dinner they both attended last month.

Seinfeld’s allegation that McNally insulted a colleague, possibly while they were patronizing Balthazar, certainly raises the question of why people, who have money and influence, would still eat at his restaurant.

As someone else pointed on in response to McNally’s post: “You work in hospitality yet ……. You lack it ……..”

Back in 2022, McNally showed that he enjoys a certain kind of “niche celebrity” when made news for going after Corden, the Daily Beast said. McNally announced he was banning the “Late Late Show” host from his restaurant after he alleged that Corden was rude to his restaurant staff.

In this Nov. 1, 2015, file photo, James Corden arrives at the Hollywood Film Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) ORG XMIT: PAPM102 Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

In October 2022, McNally said that the British entertainer began yelling at one of his servers when he and his wife, Julia Carey, visited Balthazar for breakfast. The trouble started when Carey was served an egg-yolk omelet “with a little bit of egg white” mixed in. When the staff brought out an amended order, the plate had a side of home fries instead of her desired salad. At that point, McNally said, “Corden began yelling like crazy to the server. ‘You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!’”

McNally’s account of Corden’s behavior ignited a rising torrent of online accusations about other instances when Corden was allegedly rude and “terrible” to other restaurant waiters, as well as to colleagues and people who work for him. At the time, the accusations seemed to puncture Corden’s image as a genial entertainer and relatable, easy-going celebrity.

The former late-night host subsequently apologized and admitted during his show’s opening monologue that he had been “ungracious” during his visit to Balthazar. He explained that he became annoyed because his wife has a “serious allergy” and the restaurant incorrectly prepared her order for an egg-yolk omelet.

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