Rocco DiSpirito and Jeffrey Chodorow

Could the secret ingredient to the meatballs from Nicolina DiSpirito actually have been tears?!? In videotaped testimony yesterday, Rocco DiSpirito's former manager Lon Rosen said that Jeffrey Chodorow, the owner, would make Mrs. DiSpirito cry, "She'd break down crying that Jeffrey was saying terrible things about her son."

The lawsuit stems over a fight for control over Rocco's, the subject of the NBC reality show, 'The Restaurant". DiSpirito says he owns half of the restaurant while Chodorow says he never agreed to any ownership role for DiSpirito. Chodorow and his partners in China Grill Management sued DiSpirito because they accused him mismanaging the restaurant. DiSpirito counter-sued alleging that Chodorow and his partners fudged the numbers to make the restaurant look less successful than it really was.

Rocco DiSpirito was banned from the restaurant premises last month after a court order. The judge in the case, Ira Gammerman, is deciding whether to end the restraining order and to decide on the ownership of Rocco's.

Gothamist on Rocco DiSprito.