Mario Batali was spotted out for the first time after four women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct earlier this month. The celebrity chef stepped out for lunch on Wednesday, December 20, almost a week after releasing a statement apologizing for the allegations made against him.
Batali, 57, was out in New York City, wearing his signature shorts and Yeezy sneakers, with a black vest and scarf to shield himself from the cold. He paired the low-key look with a blue and white baseball cap and sunglasses.
As previously reported, the restaurant owner was accused of sexual harassment in a report by Eater published on December 11. One female chef said that Batali inappropriately touched her breasts at an event, while three other women who previously worked for him throughout their careers accused the Iron Chef America star of inappropriate contact. “I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt,” Batali said in a statement to the publication. “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,” he continued. “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.”
After reviewing the sexual harassment allegations made against Batali, ABC announced the network was firing the chef from his role as a cohost of their show The Chew. “Upon completing its review into the allegations made against Mario Batali, ABC has terminated its relationship with him and he will no longer appear on The Chew,” an ABC spokesperson said in a statement posted to Facebook on December 14. “While we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with our show, ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment and his past behavior violates our standards of conduct.”
Batali also faced major backlash on December 15 after he included a recipe in a statement he sent through his newsletter apologizing for the allegations. “I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and I take full responsibility,” he wrote in his newsletter. “Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you — my fans — I would never have a forum to expound on this. I will work every day to regain your respect and trust.”
“In case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite,” Batali added at the end of the statement with a link to the recipe.
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