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Mario Batali Gives Up All His Restaurants

Celebrity chef has been accused of sexual harassment
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2019 4:51 PM CST
Chef Mario Batali has been bought out by his restaurant partners.   (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – More than a year after several women accused Mario Batali of sexual harassment and assault, the celebrity chef has been kicked out of his restaurants. The Bastianich family, with whom Batali had partnered for two decades, and his other partners bought Batali out for an undisclosed amount, the New York Times reports, and said he "will no longer profit from the restaurants in any way, shape or form." The company will be restructured without him. He's also selling out of Eataly, a chain of luxury Italian supermarkets. Batali is the only famous restaurateur recently accused of harassment to give up all of his restaurants. Batali & Bastianich at one time had dozens of food businesses and restaurants in the US, Italy, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It ends an era, Forbes says, in which diners wanting to taste the good life made a reservation at a Mario Batali restaurant.

Reservations declined and six of the restaurants closed shortly after accusations of sexual harassment and assault were published in December 2017. Sixteen of the restaurants remain open. Batali was fired from The Chew, a daily ABC program. He was criticized for apologizing to fans in his newsletter alongside a recipe for pizza dough cinnamon rolls, per CNBC. Citing a lack of evidence, New York police have since closed three sexual assault investigations of Batali. Lately, Batali has been spotted with his wife near their estate in northern Michigan; Forbes estimates his worth at $25 million. "I have reached an agreement with Joe [Bastianich] and no longer have any stake in the restaurants we built together," Batali tells the Times. "I wish him the best of luck in the future." (Read more Mario Batali stories.)

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