A local New York City TV station, WCBS, recently reported that former president Bill Clinton had sent a threatening letter to a New York restaurant demanding that it remove a picture of his daughter Chelsea posing with restaurant owner Nino Selimaj. The snapshot had apparently been on the wall of Osso Buco in Greenwich Village for several years, alongside other celebrity pictures of the type restaurants routinely post as a way of saying, “See, our food is so good that even famous people eat here!”
No one—not even Selimaj—denies that the Clintons have the right to ask that the picture be removed. As a “private person”—which is how her father’s letter described here—Chelsea is entitled to not have her image used to promote the business.
On the other hand, why pick this fight, especially in such a high-handed way? The letter, written on official “William Jefferson Clinton” stationary, reportedly threatened to “exercise any and all options available to us if you refuse to comply”.
We have two theories: One, Selimaj is milking a minor matter for all it’s worth. After all, this was the same restaurateur who a few months earlier had debuted a $1,000 pizza generally regarded as a blatant publicity stunt (it featured half a pound of Petrossian caviar and four ounces of Maine lobster tail, among other toppings).
Or, the famously food-loving ex-president had a bad meal experience at Osso Buco and is taking his revenge.