Company Cuts Ties With Founder Mario Batali After '60 Minutes' Report
By USDA photo by Lance Cheung (Flickr: 20120524-OSEC-LSC-011.JPG) [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Company Cuts Ties With Founder Mario Batali After ’60 Minutes’ Report

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NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) A segment on last night’s “60 Minutes” has led to the immediate loss of a television show for celebrity chef Mario Batali, who is also leaving the company he helped found.

Batali was the subject of a segment on the news program where he was accused by women who claimed the chef sexual assaulted her. Batali has apologized for his “past behavior” calling it “deeply inappropriate,” according to CBS News. One woman, a former waitress at one of Batali’s restaurants, told reporter Anderson Cooper that she woke up one morning on the floor of The Spotted Pig, a restaurant that Batali was highly invested in, after he invited her to a party. She says she recalls sitting on his lap then throwing up in a toilet, and thinks Batali had drugged her then did something “very wrong.”

Batali “vehemently” denied that he assaulted the woman but Spotted Pig manager told Cooper that three years after the alleged incident she and other employees intervened to stop the chef from assaulting a semi-conscious or unconscious woman in an upstairs room of the restaurant. Seet said she wished she had reported the incident to police.

B&B Hospitality Group, which Batali co-founded with chef Joe Bastianich, released a statement immediately after the segment aired, calling the accounts “chilling and deeply disturbing” and saying the company was severing its ties with Batali.

“This was the first we learned” of the women’s accounts, B&B Hospitality Group said, according to CBS News. “Our partnership with Mr. Batali is ending. We have been actively negotiating with Mr. Batali to buy his interests in the restaurants, and he and Joe Bastianich have signed a letter of intent that sets forth the broad terms to do so. We expect to have the final terms set by July 1, and that Nancy Silverton, Lidia Bastianich, Mr. Bastianich, and other current investors will participate in the acquisition.”

The company added that Batali had “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.”

Batali is a speaker/lecturer with fees up to $150,000.

The New York Police Department confirmed to “60 Minutes” there is an ongoing criminal investigation into Batali.

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