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'Golden Girls' Cafe Owner Accused Of Sexually Harassing Employee

Rue La Rue Cafe owner Michael J La Rue
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Rue La Rue Cafe owner Michael J La Rue Scott Heins/Gothamist

The owner of the famed (ish) Golden Girls themed cafe in Washington Heights has been accused of sexually harassing his former assistant, which sounds like the plot of the Season 1 Golden Girls episode "Adult Education," in which Blanche's creepy psychology teacher tries to get her to have sex with him, but alas, is not.

Michael J. La Rue, who was Blanche portrayer Rue McClanahan's close friend before she died in 2010, has been sued by former personal assistant Henry Campbell. According to the suit, Campbell began working for La Rue in October 2016 while he readied his Golden Girls-themed Rue de La Rue Cafe, which eventually opened this past February.

The lawsuit claims Campbell's job entailed a bit more than unpacking McClanahan's Emmy and costume collection—among other allegations, Campbell says La Rue would brag "on a near daily basis" about the size of his penis, discuss his sexual preferences with Campbell, groped Campbell's rear end, and, in a particularly spectacular revelation, sent Campbell "an image pertaining to Rue McClanahan’s vagina with the caption 'lick it.'"

Though Gothamist was unable to reach La Rue, he did provide comment to the Post, responding to the allegations with, "Oh my god," "Oh dear!" and "Ohhh." Yes, that's three h's.

Campbell says he was fired after he complained about La Rue's alleged harassment—which also included making fun of Campbell's "muffin-top," according to the suit—but La Rue denied all the allegations and told the Post Campbell was fired over performance issues, describing him as "inept." He says Campbell launched the suit after La Rue refused to loan him rent money.

The suit says Campbell is seeking unspecified damages.

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