As reported by CBS News, the first allegation of sexual misconduct involving Mario Batali occurred in 2017, when a woman claimed that the chef had touched her inappropriately at a bar in Boston. This incident resulted in a charge of indecent assault and battery, of which he was acquitted in 2022. Batali was also subject to a civil lawsuit in 2019 filed by a different woman who made similar claims about the chef’s purported inappropriate behavior during a meeting, behaviors that were characterized as sexual assault.
The chef provided an undisclosed settlement to both women while also paying $600,000 to settle an investigation in New York City, where Batali and other employees at his former restaurant business were accused of sexual harassment. Per PBS NewsHour, he addressed the accusations against him, stating, “My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.” However, he also claimed that the accusations of sexual assault that allegedly took place in Boston never occurred. The judge in the case agreed, which led to Batali’s acquittal. While the disgraced chef is apparently planning to get back in the public eye, it’s unclear what that will ultimately look like and how the public will respond.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).