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Chef Mario Batali to 'step away' from business after harassment allegations

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.

Eater NY additionally reported that Batali has a reputation for making sexually charged remarks, including questions about female colleagues' sex lives and "what color underwear they wore."

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."

Read more at Eater NY.