March 6, 2012

Ramsay sued $2.1m for cancelling appearances (VIDEO | 3 PICS)

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is in mediation in Auckland today with an events promoter to resolve a multi-million dollar dispute.

Auckland - Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is in mediation in Auckland today with an events promoter to resolve a multi-million dollar dispute.

Ramsay is being sued for $2.1 million by Duco Events for cancelling appearances at sold-out charity events in Auckland and Wellington to raise money for a sick Kiwi girl.

The Hell's Kitchen star is believed to have flown in yesterday and he posted a picture on Twitter showing off Sunday's stunning weather.

''Room with a view. Love Auckland. Glorious,'' he tweeted.

While the view looks suspiciously like that from boutique Auckland hotel Mollies,  they could "neither confirm nor deny" the chef was staying with them.

Ramsay dined at Euro last night, the waterfront restaurant owned by MasterChef judge Simon Gault.

While the staff did not want to divulge what the chef had for dinner or if they expected him back during his visit, they said he had a nice evening.

"He enjoyed himself and we are grateful he came and joined us."

ROOM WITH A VIEW: Gordon Ramsay posted a photo from his Auckland hotel room.
Gault's co-judge on the reality TV show, Josh Emett, worked alongside Ramsay for almost 10 years and Ramsay is a judge on the American version of the show.

Ramsay charged a $100,000 appearance fee to take part in Duco's charity dinner in June 2010, but cancelled a week before when his mother suffered a heart attack.

His tour was rescheduled for October that year, but that trip was also cancelled when he was tied up with business matters in the UK.

The dinners were to raise money for Matisse Reid, who suffers from an intestinal disorder meaning she cannot eat and requires costly treatment.

A settlement conference was initially scheduled for April but Ramsay indicated he would meet with Duco director David Higgins while here for promotional work which includes an appearance at luxury department store Smith and Caughey's tomorrow.

Hundreds of Gordon Ramsay fans gathered at Auckland department store Smith & Caughey's to meet their idol.

Higgins was unavailable for comment today but his office confirmed mediation with Ramsay was underway with talks scheduled to end later today.

Last week Higgins said he couldn't discuss the mediation process.

"The one area which I do not have dispensation to discuss is mediation; it is subject to confidentiality agreements. I cannot comment on whether it is happening or not, or when it is. It's rare that I would say no comment, but this is one of those occasions."

is battling it out with a Kiwi promotional
company over the chef's non-appearance
in New Zealand.
In December last year Higgins said he wasn't concerned if the dispute was settled at mediation or at a trial set down for August.

''I'm easy, it makes no difference to me.

''I know what the damages are and what I'm seeking and I'm happy to be patient. I'll either get that through a settlement or it will go to trial. It's just business as usual for me.''

Ramsay is appearing at Smith and Caughey's in his role as an ambassador for British homeware brand Royal Doulton to promote his new range.

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