Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance on Wednesday in Napa County, California.
The restaurateur was stopped at 3:27 a.m. in his Porsche after driving from one of his two restaurants, Bottega Ristorante, an officer told the Los Angeles Times. He was booked and released on $5,000 bail a few hours later, according to a released report.
A spokesperson for Chiarello tells PEOPLE in a statement that he intends to dispute the misdemeanor charges filed against him. “Although he is embarrassed and apologizes to his family, friends and business colleagues about this occurrence, he intends to vigorously challenge the misdemeanor charges filed against him,” his rep said.
Two days before his arrest, the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the star of Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello reached an undisclosed settlement. Two former female employees sued Chiarello and his restaurant group for a “hostile, sexually charged and abusive” work environment.
The lawsuit sites the servers being subject to “inappropriate sexual comments,” including an incident where Chiarello “held a baguette up to his crotch while making stroking motions” in the presence of his staff.