Together, the three remaining stars of the hit daytime cooking show, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Michael Symon, took turns reading the statement to viewers: “Yesterday, allegations of past improper behavior surfaced about our own Mario Batali, and ABC asked him to step away from the show while those allegations are reviewed. We want you to know we take these matters very seriously and are committed to a safe work environment. Our commitment to our viewers remains the same — to deliver the entertaining show that you’ve come to expect.”
In the initial report on Eater, four women told stories of Batali, 57, allegedly groping them without their consent, three of whom said they once worked for the chef. Actress Siobhan Thompson also accused Batali of “inappropriately touching her breasts.”
The restaurateur was most recently reported by an employee in October for inappropriate behavior — the “first formal complaint” according to Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, who required Batali to undergo training.
Although Batali remains an owner of his restaurants, he announced that he will take a leave of absence from his restaurant empire as well as his hosting gig on The Chew.
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In a statement, 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,” he said. “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.”