A restaurateur learned the hard way not to mess with Lauren Sánchez

A restaurateur learned the hard way not to mess with Lauren Sánchez
  • NYC restaurateur Keith McNally insulted Lauren Sánchez in an apparently unprompted Instagram post.

  • Celebrities defended Sánchez, an Emmy-winning former news anchor and fiancée of Jeff Bezos.

  • This is not McNally's first controversy. He's also insulted James Corden and Adele on Instagram.

Restaurateur Keith McNally, who's no stranger to controversial Instagram posts, has made a habit out of insulting celebrities. And his latest target is Lauren Sánchez, the fiancée of one of the most powerful people in the world, Jeff Bezos.

But with some major heavyweights in her corner, Sánchez has the upper hand.

McNally, who owns more than a dozen restaurants including NYC's famed Balthazar, wrote a seemingly out-of-the-blue Instagram post attacking Sánchez and Bezos on Monday.

"Does anybody else find Jeff Bezos' New wife — Lauren Sanchez — ABSOLUTELY REVOLTING?" he wrote in the original post, accompanied by a series of pictures of the couple, according to The Cut. "What an ugly and Fucking SMUG - LOOKING couple they make. Is this what having 1000 Billion dollars does to people?"

McNally's post was later edited, though, as of Friday, it read: "What a Bizarre-looking couple. Is this what having 1000 billion dollars does to people?"

But before McNally watered down his insults, Sánchez's reputation proved she was not to be trifled with.

Scores of celebrities rushed to defend Sanchez, also an actress, pilot, philanthropist, and founder of an aerial filming company. Her relationship with Bezos became public after Bezos' divorce from MacKenzie Scott in 2019. Since then, the two have been pictured in the throes of unabashed fun, often aboard Bezos' $500-million yacht, as Sánchez's reputation as a mover-and-shaker attracts a growing rank of diehard fans.

Chrissy Teigen commented on McNally's post, writing, "She's actually incredibly dynamic, accomplished and kind, and everyone who knows her would say the same."

Jessica Seinfeld, who's married to Jerry Seinfeld, wrote in a since-deleted post, "This post is a reflection of your twisted, pitiful, and hideous mind. Lauren has twice the character you do," according to The Cut.

And MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle commented that Sánchez is "accomplished, kind, smart and loved," adding that McNally's post was "mean for no reason," The Cut reported.

Though Sánchez herself has not directly reacted to McNally's insults, she did follow them with a few Instagram Stories calling for kindness.

In a Story posted on Tuesday, which is no longer viewable, Sánchez shared a quote that read, "People will love you. People will hate you. And none of it will have anything to do with you," according to The Independent.

Sánchez also shared a quote attributed to fashion designer Rachel Zoe. "Lead with kindness, root for other people, cheer for those you love. Just honestly wish everyone the best," it read, according to The Independent.

Representatives for McNally and Sánchez did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

If his edited-down post is any indication, McNally sure learned the hard way not to mess with Sánchez, or her famous friends.

But, this is not McNally's first rodeo — the restaurant owner has insulted other big names in recent years too, some more warranted than others.

In 2022, McNally had an infamous beef with TV personality and host of "The Late Late Show," James Corden.

McNally accused Corden of being abusive to his staff at Balthazar on two occasions, saying that during one visit to the SoHo hotspot Corden yelled "like crazy" at servers and in another visit, was "nasty" to the restaurant manager. McNally called Corden a "tiny Cretin of a man" on Instagram and said Corden was banned from the restaurant.

But, McNally said that after Corden had called and "apologized profusely," he would be allowed back.

However, the beef didn't stop there. Corden told The New York Times a few days later that he didn't do anything wrong, leading McNally to strike back. In another Instagram screed, McNally mocked Corden's acting skills, insulted his fanbase, and urged him to admit wrongdoing.

The issue appeared to die down after Corden later apologized on-air.

Megastar Adele has also been the subject of McNally's disdain, which in her case, appeared to be unprompted.

In 2023, McNally attacked the singer-songwriter on Instagram, calling her appearance on Corden's "Carpool Karaoke" segment "profoundly inauthentic," "sickening," and "HORSE SHIT."

He wrote that Adele's "make-up was so hideously overdone and fingernails so long she resembled a particularly scary Cruella de Vil."

Our advice to McNally? Maybe stay off Instagram.

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