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Oprah visits Sweetie Pie's

Sweetie Pie's owner Robbie Montgomery (center) greets Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, March 25, 2012, at the restaurant, where they ate a fried chicken dinner. Photo by J.B. Forbes

ST. LOUIS • A former employee at the TV-famous Sweetie Pie’s restaurant in The Grove has filed a discrimination suit against the business in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

Veronica Tate, who worked for one week in October 2012 at the restaurant, claims in her lawsuit that she was subjected to constant sexual advances from “Ike,” who touched her, bumped into her and made sexually explicit comments to her.

Further, she says that when she brought the situation to the management’s attention, she was told, “That’s Ike. That’s how he is.”

After further complaints, Tate said she was told to leave the restaurant and go see the company’s business manager, Charles Bussey. She said Bussey offered her a job at another location but then never got back to her.

Sweetie Pie’s is featured on a reality show airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Tate first filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission in February 2013. The federal suit was filed Tuesday, and Tate is asking for a jury trial.

Sweetie Pie’s, at 4270 Manchester Avenue, is owned by Robbie Montgomery, a former backup singer for Ike and Tina Turner, and her son, Tim Norman. The company also operates a store in Dellwood and The Upper Crust in mid-town St. Louis.

Neither Montgomery nor Norman could be reached Wednesday for comment.