“While the video shows the women talking to our managers and other employees, at no point did the women mention that any of the hosts ever made a racial slur,” he said. “This is because none of our hosts — all of whom are people of color — ever uttered such a slur.”
The hostess, who is 24 and has not been named publicly, said in a statement that being accused of using a racial slur was “even worse than being physically assaulted.”
“The accusation stating that I said a racial slur is unbelievable,” the hostess said in a statement through her lawyer, Aaron Mysliwiec. “I am a Korean immigrant, I was born in Seoul, Korea,” she said, adding that she had “the utmost respect” for all people of color. “I would never call anyone a racial slur,” she said.
Security footage reviewed by The New York Times shows the women being let into the restaurant after showing proof of vaccination. Several minutes later, three men arrive to join their party and the women are seen meeting them outside. The women are then escorted back into the restaurant after two of the men fail to show vaccine cards and are denied entry. As they walk back in, they pass the hostess in the hallway. They turn back toward her, though because the footage has no sound, it is unclear why.
The footage then shows the hostess standing at a booth outside the restaurant with co-workers. The women come outside and one walks up to the hostess from behind and speaks in her ear before shoving her. The fight breaks out, and employees and other members of the party can be seen pulling the women apart.
Mr. Solano said his clients’ lives had been “turned upside down” since that day in September, and that they had received death threats via email. He said Dr. Rankin was afraid to go to her home because people have been “camped out” in front of her house.
The next court date is set for Nov. 18, Mr. Solano said. He added that while the maximum penalty for the charges was up to a year in jail, he was hopeful that the case would be dismissed.
“I have a lot of confidence in them to look past all the emotion, and look past the sort of press angle to this, and really look at this objectively,” he said.