Mario Batali Steps Away From Restaurants After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

About a month before he was sacked from "The Chew" over sexual harassment allegations, Mario Batali foreshadowed a "reckoning" in the food industry.

"I worked at Del Posto (his fanciest restaurant in NYC) and can confirm that not only was Mario Batali very handsy, they would often serve us pasta with cut up hot dogs as [a] family meal", tweeted Thompson.

The second woman claimed that Batali inappropriately touched her twice in the 1990s while she worked for him.

Holly Gunderson, who was a special events director for the chef's Los Angeles restaurant Osteria Mozza, told the Post that Batali made an inappropriate comment and later grabbed her crotch without her consent at a party at the restaurant in 2010.

Batali allegedly mauled the woman in the restaurant's third-floor after-hours party spot, which workers call "the rape room", during a wild gathering in 2008.

"I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt", he said. She turned to Friedman, who told The Post through a representative that he did not recall the incident. "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".

As a result, Batali, 57, stepped away from his restaurant empire, which includes eateries in cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles and NY, and backed down from his co-hosting duties at ABC's daytime talk show "The Chew". That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. The woman said that when she tried to pick up a pack of cigarettes that Batali had dropped on the floor, he grabbed and pulled her thong underwear. He was sitting in front of the exit, and she was forced to straddle him to leave and go to the bathroom. ABC has asked Batali to step away from "The Chew", the daytime show he co-hosts, according to Eater. "Most of the people that I know in the management and in the educated departments of making the decisions see it and they are embracing it as quickly as they can".