Celebrity chef and daytime co-host, Mario Batali, is stepping down after allegations of inappropriate behavior with four females — including three of his own former employees.
Mario Batali, 57, is officially off The Chew as of Monday, December 11. His departure comes after the New York Times’ Eater revealed that at least four women have accused the celebrity chef of inappropriate touching. In the shocking expose, one woman alleges that about 10 years ago when she was in her 20’s she introduced herself to Mario at a party. The woman claims that Mario had been drinking, and when she accidentally spilled wine on her dress she alleges that he started rubbing her breasts and said, “Let me help you with that.” According to the report, the other three women accusing Mario of sexual misconduct worked for him sometime over the last two decades, and Mario was reprimanded as recently as October 2017 after a restaurant employee accused him of “inappropriate behavior.”
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt,” Mario said in an official statement. “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. I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there. I know my actions have disappointed many people. The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time — my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans — I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.”
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Are YOU shocked to hear the allegations being made about Mario? Do YOU think leaving The Chew was the right thing to do? Let us know in the comments below.