Television chef Mario Batali is reportedly under police investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct, following a bombshell new report by US 60 Minutes, which has broadcast a number of interviews with women who alleged serious claims of sexual impropriety.
A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department confirmed the allegations are being 'looked into', with the Huffington Post reporting a 'source at the NYPD confirmed the investigation to HuffPost but declined to elaborate further.'
One unidentified woman featured in the TV report accused the chef of drugging and assaulting her in 2005.
'I woke up by myself on the floor, I don’t know where I am, of an empty room, wooden floor,' said the woman, who was said to be a former employee at Batali’s New York City restaurant Babbo. 'I see broken bottles. The first thing I think is, "I’ve been drugged." That was the first thing I thought is, "I’ve been — I’ve been assaulted.”'
While the woman assumed she had not been raped, due to a lack of apparent internal trauma, she found patches on her clothing that she believed to be semen.
Batali has hit back in a statement, saying: 'I vehemently deny the allegation that I sexually assaulted this woman. My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions. I am not attempting a professional comeback. My only focus is finding a personal path forward — a path where I can continue in my charitable endeavors — helping the underprivileged and those in need.'
The chef was fired from hit TV show The Chew in December following the emergence of sexual misconduct claims - including allegations he groped a number of women.
In response to those claims, Batali said in a statement, 'I apologise 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.'