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Mario Batali Accused of Drugging, Assaulting Woman

She said she blacked out after dining with celebrity chief
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2018 4:30 AM CDT
Chef Mario Batali attends an awards event in New York last year.   (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – Justice may be served to a celebrity chef accused of sexual misconduct: Mario Batali, who stepped away from his restaurant empire last year amid allegations of misconduct, is now under criminal investigation by the NYPD, Eater reports. The department confirmed the investigation to CBS' 60 Minutes, which aired a report Sunday on disturbing allegations that at least one woman was drugged and assaulted at the Spotted Pig, a New York restaurant where Batali is an investor and frequent guest. Numerous female employees said they were harassed and grabbed by Batali and restaurant owner Ken Friedman, and one woman said she blacked out after dining with Batali and woke up alone in a room on the third floor of the Spotted Pig building with a badly scratched leg and what appeared to be semen on her skirt.

The woman—an employee at Batali's Babbo restaurant at the time of the alleged 2005 assault—told Anderson Cooper that when she went to work and asked him what happened the previous night, "he just was silent, wouldn't talk to me." She said she called a crisis hotline but didn't end up filing a police report. Police sources tell the New York Daily News that a woman filed a police report after a very similar alleged incident in 2004. The sources say the woman told police she blacked out while drinking with Batali in Babbo and woke up to find him having sex with her. In a statement, Batali said he "vehemently" denied the assault allegation aired on 60 Minutes, though he added that he is "sincerely remorseful" for "deeply inappropriate" conduct in the past and he is not attempting a professional comeback. (Read more Mario Batali stories.)

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