Renowned chef and The Chew star Mario Batali has stepped down from his restaurant empire amid sexual misconduct allegations. As RadarOnline.com has learned, the TV personality got accused of groping and inappropriate touching by a string of women over the course of 20 years!
According to a spokesperson for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, Batali was bashed for inappropriate behavior in the workplace just two months ago!
In a statement to Eater, Batali said he was stepping away from his business following the accusations. ABC, also asked their longtime employee to step down "while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention."
Batali – who's been longtime friend to feminist advocate and beloved actress, Gwyneth Paltrow – apologized, but did not deny, the accusations made against him.
In a statement, he wrote: "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."
"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," Batali, 57, added.
He continued, saying that he knew his actions had "disappointed" people and that he would work hard to "regain" the respect of his loved ones.
B&B said to Eater, "We take these allegations very seriously. We pride ourselves on being a workplace for our employees where they can grow and deliver great service with equal opportunity and free from any discrimination. We have strong policies and practices in place that address sexual harassment. We train employees in these policies and we enforce them, up to and including termination."
As Radar has learned, some of the accusations women made against Batali include breast and buttocks groping as well as forced sexual encounters in the workplace.
Stay with Radar for updates.
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