Disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D.) threatened to stab a man in the crotch earlier this month after the fellow restaurant patron vocally praised Spitzer's longtime nemesis within earshot, according to multiple witnesses.
Jamie Antolini, 48, said he was having dinner with potential business partners at the Avra Madison Estiatorio restaurant when he was verbally attacked by Spitzer after he vocally admired Spitzer's longtime nemesis, Home Depot founder Ken Langone, the New York Post reported. Antolini said that when Spitzer walked past his table, he loudly told his potential business partners that "Ken Langone should have been president" and "Ken Langone is a great guy." The disgraced mayor's response was less than congenial, the Post reported.
Antolini said the remarks infuriated Spitzer, who as state attorney general clashed with Langone over then-New York Stock Exchange CEO Richard Grasso’s $139.5 million pay package — only to be publicly roasted by Langone when he quit as governor in 2008 over his first hooker scandal.
"He leaned into me, got right in my face, screaming — yelling — ‘I don’t know who the f–k you think you are! I’ll f–king have you killed!’" Antolini recalled.
Spitzer stormed off but quickly returned and unloaded again — including threatening to knife Antolini in the crotch, he said.
"I’ll get a f–king knife and stab you right in your f–king c–k!" Spitzer, 58, screamed at Antolini.
A prominent bio-tech investor corroborated Antolini's account of the interaction and said Spitzer came back to the table several times before Antolini stood up to him. Another source told the Post that restaurant staffers rushed over to separate both men before the situation escalated.
This is not the first time Antolini, a self-described moderate Republican, has tried to bait Spitzer with public praise of Langone. He told the Post that he has previously mentioned Langone’s name within earshot: at a Knicks game earlier this year, and on Madison Avenue last year.
"I just find it hysterical," he said.
The Jan. 2 incident occurred three days before former escort Svetlana Travis Zakharova, who has accused Spitzer of choking her in February of last year, gave the police a recording in which she claims he threatened her life.
"You know what’s going to happen to you? You’re going to be f–king dead," she claims Spitzer told her. "You’re going to die a slow painful death and your family is going to look at you and laugh because you’re a f–king bitch."
Spitzer has denied choking Zakharova. The former escort, meanwhile, was charged last year with extorting $400,000 from him, but those charges were dropped as part of a plea bargain.
Published reports have speculated Langone was behind the federal probe into Spitzer, which revealed he was "client #9" at the Emperor’s Club VIP prostitution ring.
When the truth of Spitzer's association came out and he subsequently resigned, Langone told CNBC he "had no doubt about his lack of character and integrity."
Spitzer has a long history of issuing vulgar threats to political enemies, according to the Post.
Spitzer’s history of threats include an exclusive Post report that revealed how he warned then-Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco, "I am a f–king steamroller and I’ll roll over you or anybody else."
Former communications director Darren Dopp also told investigators that Spitzer bellowed "shove it up his ass with a red-hot poker" in ordering him to release information about then-GOP Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno’s use of state aircraft.
Spitzer spokeswomen Lisa Linden defended the former mayor, saying Antolini "provoked" the incident and mentioned Spitzer was at the restaurant to celebrate his mother's 90th birthday.
"The patron persisted in making aggressive remarks, which Mr. Spitzer initially ignored. An argument ensued, but at no time did he make any threats," she said.