The celebrity chef was spotted in public for the first time since five women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct
The 57-year-old headed out for lunch in New York City on Wednesday, wearing his signature look of fleece vest and shorts. However, he swapped out his signature Crocs for a pair of grey-and-orange Yeezys. Batali covered up in a baseball cap, sunglasses and a black scarf.
The chef has withdrawn from his businesses and been fired from ABC’s The Chew after four women accused him of “inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades” in an Eater story published earlier this month. Another woman, actress Siobhan Thompson, also came forward to claim Batali “inappropriately touched her breasts” while she worked as a hostess at one of his restaurants.
“As many of you know, this week there has been some news coverage about some of my past behavior,” Batali wrote on Friday. “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 there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.”
“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 in which to expound on this. I will work every day to regain your respect and trust,” he continued, signing the letter “mb.”
He then added a post script: “In case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite.” A photo of the dessert and a link to the recipe followed.
In a statement to Eater about the original accusations, Batali said, “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 know my actions have disappointed many people,” he continued. “The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time — my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans — I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.”