Further allegations of assault and misconduct continue to trail celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali in the wake of a damning Eater portrait of his behavior.
According to The Huffington Post‘s math, eight women speaking with multiple outlets have come forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior. On Monday, actress Siobhan Thompson told CBS This Morning about her experience as a former employee of his stating Batali grabbed her breasts.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post ran a story describing the abuse said to be doled out by Batali, including alleged instances of sexual assault and all-around inappropriate behavior. Examples of interactions with Batali were provided.
“He said, ‘Have one of your boys go get us cigarettes.’ He meant a food runner,” said the woman, who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity because she feared career repercussions. When the runner fetched the cigarettes, she presented them to him. She says Batali “looked at me, and smiled, and dropped the cigarettes” — deliberately, she believes. She bent over to pick them up.
“He grabbed my underwear,” which was a thong, “and pulled straight up. … I stood up really quickly and I laughed nervously.” She turned to Friedman, who told The Post through a representative that he did not recall the incident. “I said, ‘Ken, Mario’s sexually harassing me!’ ” Friedman’s response, she said: “Get in f—ing line.”
Batali has taken a leave of absence from his co-presenter role on ABC’s The Chew and from his day-to-day restaurant operations. The chef provided a blanket apology after allegations against him went public and did not deny any allegations.
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt,” said Batali. “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’s Chew co-hosts have also commented on the matter.