Celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali has abruptly exited as co-host of ABC’s daytime talk/food/lifestyle series “The Chew” following sexual harassment allegations from at least four women, three of whom worked for Batali.
Batali was reprimanded for inappropriate behavior in the workplace as recently as two months ago. According to a spokesperson for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group — the restaurant-management services company that provides support to around 24 restaurants owned by, among others, Batali and Joe Bastianich — in October 2017, a B&B restaurant employee officially reported inappropriate behavior by Batali to the company. It was the first formal complaint about Batali, who was reprimanded and required to undergo training, according to the company.
In a prepared statement sent to The Associated Press, Batali said that the complaints “match up” with his past behavior.
“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,” Batali said.