By David Chazan in Paris

A controversial French chef who was Pamela Anderson’s associate in her short-lived “sexy vegan” restaurant venture near Saint-Tropez faces a court hearing for insolvency today.

Anderson announced that she was ending her involvement in the pop-up eatery, La Table du Marche by Pamela, on Wednesday, only eight days after it opened.

It emerged that the chef, Christophe Leroy, who also ran another Saint-Tropez restaurant, Les Moulins de Ramatuelle, had financial problems and allegedly failed to pay staff.

Leroy, 53, declined to comment. His lawyer, Thierry Fradet, told Le Parisien newspaper: “The numerous unpaid bills are explained by the administrative closure of the Moulins de Ramatuelle last summer.”

He added: “Everyone will be paid in the very near future.”

The commercial court of Frejus will now decide whether to order the compulsory liquidation of Mr LeRoy’s company, CL Developpement. According to France’s Official Receiver, eight other companies belonging to Mr Leroy have also been placed in receivership or compulsory liquidation over the past 20 years. The chef was apparently hoping that his association with Anderson would relaunch his career.

The former Baywatch actress, 50, gave few details about the motives for her decision to pull out of the venture, which she had initially billed as “a sexy vegan experience in my favourite village.” She said she could not “condone the mistreatment of staff or complete lack of respect.”

Before the restaurant’s July 4 opening, she had invited Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, and his wife to dine there, saying she hoped to persuade the president to grant asylum to her friend Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder.

Her meetings with Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy in London sparked tabloid rumours that the pair were dating.

In a recent interview she told People magazine: “Julian is trying to free the world by educating it. It is a romantic struggle – I love him for this.

“I understand that our ‘affair’ and the curiosity surrounding that might bring some attention to his situation. That’s fine, but I’d rather not go into private details. Let’s just say everyone deserves love.”

As well as financial improprieties, Leroy was accused of mismanaging the vegan restaurant, which was supposed to have lasted for 50 days, but closed after only nine.

One customer, who declined to make his name public, told Le Parisien that he had waited an hour for a bottle of wine and was served an undercooked risotto. “For 350 euros, it’s a scandal,” he said.

An award-winning chef, Leroy became a culinary celebrity at the age of only 24 by cooking a wedding dinner for Johnny Hallyday, the French rocker.

Anderson said she was “extremely disappointed” that her restaurant venture with Leroy “did not meet expectations or agreements.”