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A Second Hostess Sues Nobu Malibu for Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Just days after the first lawsuit against Nobu Malibu, another one alleges some of the same behavior from a former bar manager

A general view of the atmosphere at Surface Magazine Presents The 2017 Travel Issue: Celebratory Dinner with Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu Malibu on October 26, 2017 in Malibu, California.
A person holds wooden sake boxes at Nobu Malibu in October 2017.
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Surface Media
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

On Monday, September 18, a second current hostess employed by Nobu Malibu, one Jayne Doe II, filed a lawsuit against the popular restaurant, alleging she experienced discrimination, sexual assault, and harassment from a former bar manager named Marcus (his last name was not mentioned in the lawsuit due to being unknown). This second lawsuit comes less than a week after attorneys J. Bernard Alexander, Jacqueline Gil, and Michelle Iarusso filed a complaint on behalf of one Jane Doe, who alleges she experienced some of the same behavior and hostile workplace conditions at Nobu Malibu, news that was picked up across multiple national publications. Nobu Malibu is known for being one of the most celebrity-filled restaurants in Los Angeles.

In Doe II’s filing, she claims Marcus first took interest in her during the time of Halloween 2021, when he allegedly asked to see non-costume-related photos of her and made a comment about her “smooth legs.” Around that time, Doe II complained to management that she had been reportedly sexually harassed by a patron as she was seating them, saying the patron “began flirting with her, as he licked his lips, saying that she was beautiful while he leered at and complimented her legs.” Doe II then says she informed her female supervisor, who allegedly told her she could care less and had no time for Doe II’s complaints, according to the filing.

Doe II also detailed an incident on December 4, 2021 with Marcus in which she alleges his penis rubbed against her backside, and then he whispered in her ear, “I heard you liked your hair pulled,” while tugging her hair, in which she pulled away and stated, “You heard wrong.” The lawsuit claims another hostess observed the incident and reported it to management.

Doe II and other female hostesses allege they reported the alleged instances of sexual harassment to Nobu Malibu management. They allege the restaurant’s general manager said he would investigate it and provide them with updates. The hostesses said they never heard about the progress of the investigation, but instead found out from another employee that the restaurant later “quietly terminated” Marcus’s employment in early 2022. For months after, Marcus continued to visit the restaurant as a patron, which Doe II alleges led to one of her colleagues suffering an emotional breakdown in September 2022, an incident also mentioned in the first lawsuit by Doe I. Doe II alleges management made no effort to prevent Marcus from returning to the premises. Just as in the first lawsuit, Doe II alleges management removed prime weekend shifts from her schedule for what she calls retaliation for raising complaints about Marcus.

Both lawsuits are suing for the same complaints: employment discrimination based on gender; harassment; and retaliation. Both lawsuits are asking for no less than $500,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees.

Eater has reached out to Nobu Malibu again for comment and will update this story if we receive a response.

Nobu Malibu

22706 East Pacific Coast Highway, , CA 90265 (310) 317-9140 Visit Website