Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Is Under Criminal Investigation by the NYPD
Towards the end of 2017, celebrity chef Mario Batali was named by a number of women who came forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace.
Batali then came out and admitted to acting inappropriately with the complainants and was dismissed from his role on ABC's daytime talk/cooking show, The Chew. On Sunday, a 60 Minutes segment aired featuring the TV personality's accusers speaking out, and now, the NYPD has confirmed to show's producers that Batali is under a criminal investigation.
Plus, the network pulled Johnny Iuzzini's 'The Great American Baking Show' after sexual misconduct claims.
The 60 Minutes story focused on the misconduct that took place at a one of Batali's restaurants, The Spotted Pig. Although the NYPD didn't confirm what Batali's being investigated for, the segment on the Sunday broadcast series indicates that it could be something to do with sexual assault.
During one of the episode's testimonials, former manager of The Spotted Pig Jamie Seet recounted that she and other employees had to intervene when the chef reached up the skirt of allegedly unconscious woman. At the beginning of the segment, former employee Trish Nelson stated, "I think Mario Batali is a monster."
"Behind the scenes he is hurtful and he does not respect women," she continued.
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 20, 2018
Another ex-employee who remained anonymous claimed Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005 when she accompanied him for a drink at The Spotted Pig. While she did seek help after the alleged altercation, the unidentified woman did not to file a police report at the time.
Since his departure from The Chew, the chef has also stepped away from many of his businesses outside of television. He also spoke out this week about the claims made against him in the 60 Minutes segment.
In the #MeToo era, following the Harvey Weinstein assault allegations last fall, networks have found they have to act quickly and decisively to similar charges, and in various ways.
"I vehemently deny the allegation that I sexually 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," he said in a statement.