Maybe it was all those drinks he guzzled after demanding the restaurant comp them, but James Corden forgot for a whole week that his wife has a food allergy. He used this clever excuse to try to explain away his alleged “extremely nasty behavior” that got him banned from Balthazar’s in New York, a swanky French restaurant.
Keith McNally, Balthazar’s owner, labeled Corden “the most abusive customer” in his establishment’s 25-year history. McNally detailed on Instagram two accounts of abuse Balthazar’s staff received from Corden. One involved the comedian supposedly finding a hair in his food and insisting afterward on free drinks as compensation, with an added threat of bad restaurant reviews. Another account involved Corden “yelling like crazy to the server” after his wife’s egg yolk omelet had “a little egg white on the plate” and was returned remade but with the wrong side.
Amid the uproar, Corden told the New York Times he hadn’t “done anything wrong, on any level.” He added, “Because I think [addressing the accusation is] so silly. I just think it’s beneath all of us. It’s beneath you. It’s certainly beneath your publication.”
Yet Cockburn suspects Corden must really love French food, because he’s since changed his tune. He didn’t issue an apology, exactly, but on the Late Late Show last night, he offered a different account of what went down at the restaurant and basically implied his behavior was justified:
I made a rude comment and it was wrong. It was an unnecessary comment. It was ungracious to the server.
The meals came, my wife was given the food that she was allergic to. She hadn’t taken a bite of it or anything, no worries, we sent it back. All was good.
As her meal came wrong to the table the third time, in the heat of the moment I made a sarcastic rude comment about cooking it myself. It is a comment I deeply regret.
I worked shifts at restaurants for years, I have such respect for anyone who does that job.
The restaurant manager and the server were lovely, they brought out four glasses of champagne and we were like “that’s not necessary, we don’t need it, we had a great time.”
But here’s the truth of it — because I didn’t shout or scream, I didn’t get up out of my seat, I didn’t call anyone names or use derogatory language, I have been walking around thinking that I’ve not done anything wrong.
But I have, I made a rude comment.
McNally called Corden a liar after the New York Times interview, but most recently wrote on Instagram that he accepts Corden’s “apology” and has lifted his ban. Cockburn can’t help but notice that “It is a comment I deeply regret” and “I’m sorry” are not the same thing. Cockburn also can’t help but wonder why it took Corden so long to bring his wife’s food allergy into the conversation, or how Corden’s wife’s “food allergy” has anything to do with Corden acting like an entitled ass on so many other occasions.