Famed chef Mario Batali investigated for sexual assault by NYPD
George Rose/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Beleaguered chef Mario Batali is being investigated by the New York Police Department for sexual assault allegations raised in a “60 Minutes” report that aired Sunday.
The NYPD told ABC News that a woman came forward earlier this year to report the alleged assault that took place in the mid-2000s.
The “60 Minutes” report featured an unidentified former employee of Batali’s, who spoke out about the 57-year-old chef and former TV star, saying he drugged and assaulted her in New York City more than a decade ago.
After drinking wine with the chef at a popular Manhattan restaurant, the woman claims things got “completely foggy.”
“I remember a moment where I was on his lap, kissing him. Like, he was kissing me,” she said on the program. “And then I remember throwing up in a toilet. And that is all. I woke up by myself on the floor. The first thing I think is I’ve been drugged.”
Another thought that crossed her mind: “I’ve been assaulted,” she said.
The woman added that she spoke to police after the alleged incident but did not file a report.
A request for comment from Batali’s rep wasn’t immediately returned to ABC News, but the chef “vehemently” denied the assault to “60 Minutes.”
As for other allegations against him, he told the show, “My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions.”
Last December four women came forward and told the website Eater that Batali had sexually harassed them.
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong, and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family,” Batali said in a statement late last year.
After the Eater piece, Batali was asked to leave ABC’s “The Chew” and he offered to step away from the day-to-day operations of his restaurant group. Batali’s former organization, the Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group, told “60 Minutes” that it finds the allegations “deeply disturbing” and that “our partnership with Mr. Batali is ending. We have been actively negotiating with Mr. Batali to buy his interests in the restaurants.”
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