In a story published Monday, four women told Eater NY that they had been sexually harassed by celebrity chef Mario Batali. Three of the women had previously worked for Batali, while the fourth was never his employee but works in the restaurant industry.
The women all described instances in which Batali touched them inappropriately; one alleged the chef "compelled her to straddle him," Eater NY wrote, while two described Batali groping their breasts. Another said Batali repeated grabbed her from behind, "like a disgusting bear hug," often while they were in close quarters in the back of a restaurant in Manhattan's West Village.
In a statement, Batali did not deny the allegations, saying "much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses." He said he would "step away from the day-to-day operations" of his business, whose enterprises include the Eataly restaurants, in order to "try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed."