DALLAS -- Phil Romano is the multi-millionaire businessman who owns Eatzi's and is famous for founding Macaroni Grill and Fuddruckers.
"I respected him as the owner of our company, as a businessman," said Ichel Cook, who works at Eatzi’s as an assistant manager. "Loved everything about my job."
But on April 7 that changed, according to a lawsuit filed by Cook.
The suit alleges Cook was attending a manager's meeting when Romano walked behind Cook and "inappropriately grabbed [Cook's] buttocks with a grin on his face." The suit says the "entire incident was captured on video."
"Phil walks into the market, turns his hand like this, grabs me, laughs, takes a few more steps, stops, turns around and stares at me for at least five seconds," said Cook, as she watched the video on a cell phone.
The suit says Cook "immediately turned around to face her attacker" and "became mortified and turned away to avoid escalating the situation in public."
"I felt pretty disgusted that he did that to me. I was shocked," Cook told News 8.
The incident has shaken the mother of two, who has worked in restaurants for years and, before that, served in the Air Force.
The lawsuit says Romano later "confronted [Cook] to discuss what happened."
"He said that he just thinks of me like one of the guys, and didn't think that this would upset me," Cook said.
She filed a police report and is now suing Romano for at least $1,000,000.
News 8 reached out to Romano through his attorney, who released a statement.
"While we cannot discuss the details of this ongoing case, we will vehemently defend our client against these accusations and demonstrate that the case should be dismissed," wrote attorney Michael McCabe.
Cook and her attorneys say the video leaves little doubt.
"With this, there's not questions about what happened," Cook said. "I want him to understand that this is not acceptable and there are consequences to actions. And I don't want this to happen to anyone else."
Cook requested a restraining order against Romano that was denied by the court this week.
She is still going to work at Eatzi's. She told us she needs the job to support her family.