Would only that his preference for footwear that doubles as sweaty Petri dishes was the most objectionable thing about Mario Batali. As it turns out, the Crocs are actually the least stomach-churning thing about the celebrity chef, who took a leave of absence from his Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group Monday after a report in Eater detailed groping charges against him from four different women, both those who had worked for him at one point and those who had not. Batali does not deny the charges, saying in a statement, “much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses.”
ABC reportedly “asked” Batali to step away from his co-hosting gig on its daytime cooking-talk show hybrid The Chew when the story first broke. And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, after an internal review Batali has been formally fired from the show. “Upon completing its review into the allegations made against Mario Batali, ABC has terminated its relationship with him and he will no longer appear on The Chew,” a spokesperson says. Both ABC and Eater have confirmed that, although their investigations are ongoing, at this point none of them involve Batali’s behavior on any of his various TV projects.
Eight women in total have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Batali since Eater’s initial report. The Washington Post reported on two former employees who accuse Batali of sexual assault, and The New York Times reported on another incident involving Batali as part of a larger report on NYC eatery The Spotted Pig, whose third-floor VIP lounge was referred to by employees as “the rape room” thanks to its pervasive culture of sexual misconduct by guests.