The New York Post reported on Sunday that Food Network chef Bobby Flay’s three-year affair with his assistant led to the demise of his marriage to “Law & Order: SVU” actress Stephanie March.
Flay’s spokeswoman, Julie Halpin, issued a statement to the Post that did not really deny the allegation, charging that the story is a ploy by March to get the couple’s pre-nup invalidated.
“We will continue to refrain from responding to the continued efforts by certain parties to spread rumors and innuendo,” said Halpin’s statement.
“This specific allegation was in a letter sent from one attorney in this case to the other. It was written and then leaked specifically to try to insert this story into the press, and that’s unfortunate.”
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Flay, 50, filed for divorce from March earlier this month after 10 years of marriage. In court documents, Flay wrote that the marriage had “broken down irretrievably.”
March’s friends told celebrity news outlets that she had “tried everything she could do to save the marriage.”
The twice-divorced Flay had been dogged by gossip of infidelity that linked the workaholic restaurateur to both “Mad Men” actress January Jones and Food Network colleague Giada De Laurentiis. He denied being involved with either.
The New York Post on Sunday quoted actress/writer Maia Mitchell who alleged that Flay had been cheating with his assistant Elyse Tirrell, who started as a waitress at his Bar American restaurant in New York City in 2008.
“Now this girl is about to become the Monica Lewinsky of the food world,” Mitchell said.
She told the Post that March learned of the alleged affair last November and that the couple tried to work on the marriage over the holidays.
Flay’s business partner Laurence Kretchmer denied the rumor of the affair and said that Flay has a rule that when “people talk crap about him” he doesn’t respond.
“Have Bobby and Elyse been seen together? Yes, that’s her job,” he told the Post. “None of this has any basis in reality.”
Kretchmer also added a threat, suggesting that things are only going to get hotter in the kitchen: “As ugly as Stephanie is going to look (when this news comes out), she will look uglier when other things come out.”