Matt Levine Reportedly Suing Ex-Partner for $20 Million

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Levine. Photo: CHANCE YEH/Patrick McMullan

Bad news for people hoping that the now-defunct Cocktail Bodega would reopen soon: The Daily News says Matt Levine is suing Michael Shah — partners at Cocktail Bodega and Sons of Essex — because Shah "used his good name to build a food empire and then tossed him out with the trash."

Here's how the News has it:

Levine claims Michael Shah allowed a convicted felon to steal from the businesses, filed fraudulent paperwork and used restaurant resources to host fundraisers for mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and public advocate candidate Reshma Saujani.

Also named in the suit is Victor Jung, an accountant who the suit reportedly claims helped Shah fudge financial records at the restaurants.

What's Shah have to say about the suit? He tells the tabloid, "Matt Levine drafted this narrative of half-truths and outright lies, sent it to me and demanded $5.5 million in 48 hours or else he would file it … It looks like he has decided to pursue an avenue of public slander."

It seems Levine is indeed not bothered by news of the story going public. Here's how he started his day on Twitter:


Lower East Side celebrity hangout Sons of Essex focus of $20 million dispute among ex-partners [NYDN]
Related: Cocktail Bodega Closes After Seven Months