It has been revealed that the former boss of Pret A Manger was in tears as the father of the teenage girl who died after eating one of their baguettes forgave him.
Mr Nadim Ednan-Laperouse said he went to former sandwich firm boss Clive Schlee after a “vision in church”.
“I put one hand on his heart, the other on his shoulder and said ‘Clive I forgive you for the death of my child to set you free, so you can be the best father to your two daughters.'”
Mr Ednan-Laperouse said Mr Schlee’s “eyes got well and he started crying”.
The reconciliation came after Mr Ednan-Laperouse spent two years “seething with revenge” at Mr Schlee – and considered taking his own life.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died aged 15 in 2016 after an allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger baguette bought at Heathrow airport. She collapsed on a flight to Nice and died shortly after arriving.
At the coroner’s inquest her father blamed Pret for failing to list ingredients including sesame, which Natasha was allergic to, on the packaging.
The coroner ruled that the labeling was “inadequate”.
Mr Schlee said in 2019 that hearing details of Natasha’s final moments was the “worst time of my life”.
The act of forgiveness was a change of heart. When Mr Schlee apologized in a letter of condolence to the family two years after Natasha’s death they said it was “too little too late”.
Mr Ednan-Laperouse, 57, has now revealed how he forgave Mr Schlee in an emotional meeting.
“For two years I was seething with anger, seething with rage uncontrollably,” he told Sir Craig Oliver in his podcast Desperately seeking wisdom.
“I blamed the company and the boss. One day I was in church and I had a vision that I would forgive the man who blamed me for the death of my child.”
Four days after his “church vision” he met Mr Schlee and said he was no longer personally responsible for his daughter’s death.
He told the businessman that he wanted to make sure “the horror that happened” doesn’t happen again.
Explaining why he extended the hand of friendship, Mr Ednan-Laperouse said: “None of us try to harm others in this way. It was a combination of poor judgment and taking your eye off the ball. He deserves forgiveness for even the most horrible thing.”
Mr Ednan-Laperouse said he felt “suicidal for quite a while” after Natasha’s death. “I was reliving flashes – but I’ve been treated for it. Thank God I can talk about it now. If I hadn’t gotten help I wouldn’t be here today.”
Mr Schlee, 63, stepped down as chief executive of Pret A Manger in 2019.