According to reports from Eater, the women are alleging:
… that Batali touched them inappropriately in a pattern of behavior that appears to span at least two decades.
The report notes that over the years, the world-renowned chef was reprimanded for his alleged actions, the latest being just two months ago.
In one instance, a former employee claims that over the course of two years, Batali repeatedly groped her and would press himself up to her.
Another former employee states that he tried to persuade her to straddle him, while one other employee said he grabbed her breasts at a party, Eater notes.mariobatali/Facebook
Following the news of the damning allegations, Batali announced he would be stepping away from the “day to day” operations of his business. Meanwhile, he released a statement, where he did not deny any of the allegations, instead issuing an apology:
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. 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.
A spokesman for B&B Restaurants, the company that Batali owns, released its own statement:
We take these allegations very seriously. We pride ourselves on being a workplace for our employees where they can grow and deliver great service with equal opportunity and free from any discrimination. We have strong policies and practices in place that address sexual harassment. We train employees in these policies and we enforce them, up to and including termination.
Mr. Batali and we have agreed that he will step away from the company’s operations, including the restaurants, and has already done so.
All of Batali’s alleged victims have asked to remain anonymous “for fear of retaliation.”