Celebrity Chef and The Chew Co-Host Mario Batali is stepping down from his restaurant empire amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
On Monday, Eater reported on four women who accused The Chew co-host of inappropriate touching, behavior that seems to have spanned over two decades. According to Eater, three of the women worked for Batali in some capacity, and one former employee alleged that, over the course of two years, he would repeatedly grab her from behind and hold her “tightly against his body.” Another employee said Batali groped her chest.
Batali, who did not deny the allegations presented by Eater, told the website in a statement, “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.”
The chef, who told the website he is removing himself from the day-to-day operations of his businesses, will also be stepping away from The Chew as ABC reviews the allegations, a spokesperson for the network told Eater.