A group of people with anti-gay motivations allegedly attacked former Top Chef contestant, Josie-Smith Malave, her sister, Julie Smith, and their friend, Emily Durwood, outside the Partners bar in Sea Cliff, in Nassau, Long Island, on Sept 1. Smith-Malave and Durwood are both out lesbians who live in Brooklyn.
The women claim they were part of a larger party celebrating a birthday at the bar over the Labor Day Weekend when they were suddenly asked to leave. Conflicting accounts exist, but all presume the display of outwardly lesbian behavior was a factor.
Thereafter, some 12 patrons allegedly followed the women outside, where they beat them, shouted anti-gay slurs, and stole a video recorder that was used in an attempt to document the assault. The women suffered bruises and one reported a head injury.
Days later, Matthew Walli, 20, was arrested with second-degree robbery as a hate crime when he returned to Partners with the stolen camera, absent the tape. He could face more charges.
Others are still being sought in the alleged attack, according to Yetta Kurland, the women’s attorney.