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Last year, Mario Batali received several allegations of sexual misconduct from women claiming inappropriate behavior from the celebrity chef and TV personality. These allegations claimed Batali had groped the breasts and buttocks of different women over the years, which resulted in Batali losing his position on ABC's morning talk show The Chew, which was subsequently canceled this week. Now, more women have stepped forward with sexual misconduct allegations, as the New York Police Department continues their investigation, with detailed reports of inappropriate touching and unwanted kissing from Mario Batali. There are also brief video clips of some of these encounters too.
While most of the allegations presented in the initial reports were from former co-workers, these latest ones, published by Eater, also provided accounts from fans who were subjected to unwanted advances from the chef when they were seeking photo opportunities. One woman claims the prolific chef groped her at a bar in April 2017. Batali also reportedly squeezed her face into his as he kissed her. She provided a video of the encounter, which can be seen here. (Please be advised of the content warning.)
A different woman also provided a video of Mario Batali trying to kiss her. (Also be advised of the content warning.) Another woman claims Batali made a comment about oral sex during an encounter in 2016 and groped her. These are only a handful of the allegations made against Batali. These new reports come on the eve of Mario Batali's recent attempt to score a personal and professional comeback in April, according to The New York Times.
There are now at least 18 women who have come forward with allegations against Mario Batali, which the chef continues to deny.
Since the original allegations were made public, Batali was not only fired from The Chew but kicked out of -- or pushed away from -- nearly two dozen restaurants and businesses. He could also face criminal charges for the alleged sexual misconduct, as two separate, but similar, accusations are currently being reviewed by the New York Police Department.
When dismissed from The Chew, however, he released the following statement regarding the recent string of allegations made against him.
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. 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.
We'll keep you posted on the latest developments in these allegations made against Mario Batali.