Chef Mario Batali Faces Sexual Assault Allegations & NYPD Investigation [VIDEO]
Mario Batali, chef, writer and restaurateur, is now faced with an investigation led by the New York City Police Department due to the second complaint of sexual misconduct filed by another woman.
Back in December, Batali was fired from co-hosting ABC’s The Chew and has left his daily operations at his business empire after four women alleged Batali of inappropriate touching and sexual assault over the last two decades.
In the complaint that sparked this investigation, an unidentified woman told police on March 15 that Batali had drugged and raped her at his Greenwich Village restaurant Babbo in January 2004. She said she had been drinking before she had gone upstairs to use the restroom, and could only recall waking up to Batali raping her.
On Sunday, May 20, 60 Minutes aired an interview with a different unnamed woman, who was an employee at Babbo, and claimed that Batali had sexually assaulted her in 2005 at The Spotted Pig, a Greenwich Village restaurant he had invested in, which was owned by his friend Ken Friedman. She said she woke up with scratches on her leg and semen on her skirt after drinking at the restaurant with Batali. She then called a rape crisis hotline and had a rape kit taken at a hospital. The woman said she didn’t file a complaint, but reported the matter to police.
Additionally, many employees of The Spotted Pig have said that both Batali and Friedman had sexually assaulted them on the job.
One waitress who often served Batali, Trish Nelson, told Anderson Cooper of 60 Minutes that Batali acted inappropriately towards women who served him, including herself.
“I think Mario Batali’s a monster. He has been lauded as this incredible chef and this leader,” Nelson said. “But behind the scenes he’s hurtful and he does not respect women.”
In response to the episode aired on Sunday, Batali released a statement denying the allegation from 2005 at The Spotted Pig.
“I vehemently deny the allegation that I assaulted this woman. My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions. I am not attempting a professional comeback. My only focus is finding a personal path forward — a path where I can continue in my charitable endeavors — helping the underprivileged and those in need.”
However, Batali did publically apologize to the four women who came forward in December to expose his behavior. He admitted that their accounts “match up” with his actions, and he was taking “full responsibility” for his conduct.
After the show aired on Sunday, B&B Hospitality Group, the business Batali co-founded with chef Joe Bastianich, released in a statement that their partnership with Batali will be ending due to the women’s “chilling and deeply disturbing” accounts of his behavior.
Police have confirmed the investigation, but have not elaborated on the complaints that have been reported.