Aimery declined to comment for this story, saying she planned to talk to a lawyer first. Aimery's daughter, the employee who reportedly received the watermelon, could not be reached for comment.
Rob Hearit, owner and manager of Darb's Tavern, issued a statement Monday which confirmed that co-workers had given a "wonderful minority employee" a watermelon, which was "intended to be a friendly joke" but "was in poor taste and offensive, to say the least."
The statement also acknowledged that Hearit, the employee's boss, was among the people to sign the watermelon.
"Many of you have expressed your outrage over this incident, and you are right," the statement reads. "I take full responsibility. I saw the 'gift' and I didn't stop it. In fact, in a lapse of judgement, I also joined our employees in signing it. While I thought it was an innocent inside joke between employees who are friends, as the owner I should have recognized the inadvertent message, stepped in and stopped this behavior."
Hearit says he will undergo mandatory diversity and sensitivity training along with his employees.