■ Celebrity chef Mario Batali is taking a leave of absence from his restaurant empire and ABC show after being accused by four women of inappropriate touching over at least two decades. Three of the women worked for Batali and claimed he grabbed them from behind or ordered them to straddle him. Another woman, a chef, told Eater she was at a party talking to the restaurateur when someone spilled wine on her chest. Batali began rubbing her breasts with his bare hands, she said. “He just went to town.” A spokesman for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group said that after the company began receiving complaints in October, it required Batali to undergo training. The chef himself said the allegations “match up” with his own memory of the incidents. “That behavior was wrong,” said Batali.
■ A third woman has accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct, claiming the Hollywood star carried out a “horrific, demoralizing, and abusive” campaign against her during a 1984 Broadway production. Kathryn Rossetter, who starred with Hoffman in Death of a Salesman, said that the actor regularly put his hands under her slip and groped her when they stood in the wings. Rossetter said that she thought of reporting Hoffman to Actors Equity, but was told she would probably lose “any hope of a career” if she did. A television intern and playwright have separately accused Hoffman of groping and propositioning them. He denies the allegations.
■ Carrie Fisher’s beloved dog, Gary, is at the center of a bitter custody dispute between the late actress’ daughter and assistant. The tongue-lolling French bulldog became a fan favorite in recent years after accompanying Fisher on Star Wars media appearances. When Fisher died last December, the dog went to assistant Corby McCoin, who continued Gary’s public tour—angering Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, who reportedly believes McCoin is exploiting and cheapening her mother’s memory. Lourd even offered the assistant $250 a month to stop the appearances and delete the pooch’s Instagram account, says TMZ.com. But McCoin declined, and Lucasfilm has been calling event organizers to block planned Gary appearances.