The back-and-forth between Todd English and his former fiancee Erica Wang continued yesterday, with the celebrated chef claiming he had been abused by his would-be wife.
English was eager to respond to a story in Sunday’s New York Post, in which Wang said the Olives chef called off their wedding just hours before it was to take place Oct. 3 and then left her with a $12,000 bill. Wang told the tabloid that English - her boyfriend of two years - has cut off her credit cards and is forcing her to move out of their Chelsea apartment, leaving her without money or a place to live.
But English gave us his side of the story yesterday. Reached by phone, English said he and Wang were in therapy because she has an explosive temper and more than once became violent with him. On Sept. 15, he claims, Wang hit him repeatedly in the face with his own watch, opening a cut around his eye that required stitches. (The restaurateur said he had to walk a red carpet a few days later wearing sunglasses.)
“Until that day, I planned to go through with the marriage,’’ he said. “I disappeared before the wedding because I didn’t want to get into another confrontation with Erica. I didn’t know where this thing was going.’’ (Wang, who couldn’t be reached for comment last night, denied to the Post that she ever hit English.)
Danielle de Benedictis, English’s attorney, told the Globe yesterday she and others had urged the celebrity chef not to go through with the wedding, but he wouldn’t listen. The chef acknowledges that some of his friends were not fans of his fiancee. “Especially after the incident with my eye,’’ English said. “Look, I’m stubborn. I wanted a relationship, something stable for my kids, someone I can come home to and not be verbally, psychologically, emotionally, and physically abused.’’
English scoffed at the suggestion that he’s been anything less than generous with Wang, who he said had a habit of racking up huge credit card bills, and threw herself a $250,000 party at the St. Regis Hotel after the wedding was canceled. “I made a mistake,’’ he said. “I let it go too far, but I got out of it in time before it cost me more in the future.’’
— Mark Shanahan, Globe Staff
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