Renowned chef Mario Batali accused of sexual misconduct by multiple employees in NYC restaurant "rape room"

Batali is reportedly under investigation by the New York Police Department for sexual misconduct after former staffs alleged that he assaulted two women.


                            Renowned chef Mario Batali accused of sexual misconduct by multiple employees in NYC restaurant "rape room"

One of the most famous chefs in the world, Mario Batali, who is a household name with Italian-American families, has been accused of a series of sexual crimes by an employee who used to work for him.

The crimes include drugging and sexually assaulting her in the third-floor space of a New York City restaurant, infamously known by employees as the "rape room", according to reports.



On Sunday, the alleged victim made an appearance on CBS News' "60 Minutes" where she claimed that she woke up with scratches on her legs and semen on her skirt while being surrounded by broken bottles.

“It gets completely foggy for me. And this is — part of the messy, scary part for me, there is a part where it — it all disappears,” said the woman, who asked CBS to remain anonymous. “I remember a moment where I was on his lap, kissing him. Like, he was kissing me. And then I remember throwing up — in a toilet. And that is all.”



The anonymous victim recalled waking up at dawn on the third floor of the downtown restaurant, The Spotted Pig. The restaurant is owned by a friend of Batali's named Ken Friedman.

The woman said, “I woke up by myself on the floor, I don’t know where I am, of an empty room, wooden floor. I see broken bottles. The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been — I’ve been assaulted.’”

After the reported assault, she called a crisis hotline before going to a hospital for examination. Immediately after, she reported the incident to the New York Police Department.



However, she declined to file a police report, so her rape kit was never processed.

“They tried getting me to file a report. They tried, they tried. But I — you know, a young actress, no resources, no money. I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it.”

In a statement to Fox News on Sunday night, the restaurant firm B&B Hospitality Group said: “The accounts tonight were chilling and deeply disturbing. This was the first we learned of them. Our partnership with Mr. Batali is ending.”

It added: “He has been our partner and close friend, but the actions he has acknowledged required us to separate wholly so that we reinforce our core values for our employees and our guests.”



Fox News did not get an immediate response from 'The Spotted Pig' upon a request for comment.

Previously, the famed chef has been accused of sexual harassment by nine other women.

Numerous women who worked for Batali accused the former “Chew” host of “inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades,” Eater reported in December. The chef apologized in a statement, saying “the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted.”

“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,” he wrote.



Batali, who owns 26 restaurants, however, faced a severe backlash from his fans for posting the apology in the newsletter along with one of his special recipes.

Ever since, Batali stepped away from the day-to-day operations of his restaurant businesses and has been dropped from ABC’s “The Chew” indefinitely.

His business owners added Sunday: “We had taken a number of steps in the last six months to separate Mr. Batali from the business, including immediately removing him from any operations this past December and asking Ms. (Nancy) Silverton and Ms. (Lidia) Bastianich to take on business-wide leadership roles and responsibilities.”

Musician Jarobi White, and chef Mario Batali speak on the Chefs are Rock Stars and Rock Stars are Chefs panel at Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of New York Trade Tasting presented by Beverage Media Group, during the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Coca-Cola at Pier 94 on October 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
Musician Jarobi White, and chef Mario Batali speak on the Chefs are Rock Stars and Rock Stars are Chefs panel at Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of New York Trade Tasting presented by Beverage Media Group, during the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Coca-Cola at Pier 94 on October 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

In other related news, 10 women accused Batali's friend Friedman of sexual misconduct and creating a toxic work environment, according to a report by The New York Times that was published last winter. Friedman apologized after going on leave, asserting that his conduct “can accurately be described at times as abrasive, rude and frankly wrong.”

Women who appeared on the CBS show, who are employed at various establishments run by Batali, branded the restaurateur as "Red Menace" as he frequently groped and harassed waitresses.



Another woman, who said she was invited to a party at The Spotted Pig, remembered an incident in 2005 wherein she drank white wine alone with Batali before things got "foggy". Speaking on '60 minutes', the victim, same as others, agreed to be interviewed only in silhouette in order to protect her identity.

Batali released a statement to 60 Minutes, "vehemently" denying that he ever assaulted the said woman back in 2005.



Jamie Seet, a former manager at The Spotted Pig, claimed that she witnessed another incident three years later. Seet said she saw the chef assaulting an unconscious woman at the restaurant via CCTV surveillance footage, and immediately intervened to stop him from taking further advantage of her.

“He crossed a line. A huge, a huge line… assaulting someone that’s unconscious,” Seet said, adding that she regrets not reporting the incident to law enforcement.

Having said that, four other women accused Batali of sexual harassment in October 2017. He still retains ownership of his restaurants.