The owners of a Washington, D.C., restaurant have hired security guards in the wake of protesters who harassed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and his wife, Heidi Cruz, while they dined last week.
"We are now living in the aftermath of this PR disaster," Fabio and Maria Trabocchi wrote in an email to customers, The Dallas Morning News reported. "The restaurants will be getting security guards for the time being to avoid similar instances.
"Maria and I have personally received death threats," the email continued.
Cruz and his wife were forced out of Fiona, an Italian restaurant, by a group of protesters on Sept. 24.
"Together they surrounded the senator’s table and chanted slogans at him and his wife. They were politically motivated, loud, and disruptive," the restaurant's owners wrote. "They were also potentially a danger not only to the senator but to our other customers and to our property and so, as is our policy, our managers called the police and eventually escorted the senator outside away from the protesters when it was safe to do so."
What were they protesting?
The protesters were screaming at Cruz about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
"We believe survivors," some protesters chanted in videos shared on social media.
Why did the restaurant hire security guards?
Following the incident, the owners said that some media outlets had "suggested that we [Fiona] intentionally leaked his [Cruz] presence to the protesters."
"How insane to imagine we choose to host an attack in our own restaurant! As crazy as that idea is, the negative effects of the repetition of this false statement is unprecedented in our careers," Fabio and Maria Trabocchi wrote.
The restaurant "operates in a city where politics is the main industry. We cannot stay open if we don’t welcome everyone regardless of party affiliation," they explained. "We take our hospitality seriously and dole it out generously to all comers."
They have also temporarily deactivated the restaurant's social media accounts.
Staff at all five restaurants owned by the couple are being trained on how to handle similar events in the future.