James Corden Addresses Balthazar Brouhaha, Vows To Apologize To NYC Restaurant Staff In Person

As he suggested he may do, James Corden on Monday’s The Late Late Show addressed the recent controversy over alleged behavior that saw him banned from ritzy NYC eatery Balthazar.

Returning to the program after a one-week break, the host used the top of the show to tell viewers it was “never my intention” to upset those at Balthazar and said that, if he is allowed back, he would “absolutely” apologize in person. (Watch the full video above)

Last week, after initially posting on Instagram that Corden was “the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago,” and that he had “86’d” him from the establishment, restaurateur Keith McNally reversed course, writing that Corden had apologized and all was “forgiven.”

But things escalated after Corden did not sound quite so contrite in an interview with the New York Times. “I haven’t done anything wrong, on any level,” he told the paper.

McNally then responded on Instagram with, “Was he joking? Or was he denying being abusive to my servers? Whatever Corden meant, his implication was clear: he didn’t do it. Although I didn’t witness the incident, lots of my restaurant’s floor staff did. They had nothing to gain by lying. Corden did.”

Last night, Corden told the Late Late Show audience that when he first heard the stories, he chose to adopt a “British attitude. You know, keep calm and carry on. Things are going to get written about me. ‘Never complain, never explain’ is very much my motto.”

However, his father pointed out to him, “You did complain, so you might need to explain.” Corden then said, “Look, when you make a mistake, you’ve got to take responsibility. So I thought I would, if it’s okay, share with you what happened.”

Corden then explained that in one instance a few weeks ago, his wife specified a “serious food allergy” when placing her order but was served the food “she was allergic to.” When the order came back wrong “the third time,” Corden said, “In the heat of the moment I made a sarcastic rude comment about cooking it myself. It is a comment I deeply regret. I understand the difficulties of being a server. I worked shifts at restaurants for years.”

Free champagne was then offered to the table, Corden noted and added, “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’ve been walking around thinking that I hadn’t done anything wrong. But the truth is, I have. I made a rude comment and it was wrong. It was an unnecessary comment. It was ungracious to the server.”

Corden concluded, “I love that restaurant. I love the staff there. I hope I’m allowed in again one day. So when I’m back in New York, I can go there and apologize in person, which is something I will absolutely do.”

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