Celebrity chef Mario Batali is reportedly being investigated for the assault of a woman at Babbo, one of his New York City restaurants, that occurred one year before an incident at his trendy New York eatery, the Spotted Pig.
TMZ reported that a Texas woman claims she was raped by the former Food Network star in January, 2004. The report stated that the woman filed a report with the New York City Police Department in March, 2018.
TMZ reported that the woman alleges she was having a drink at the bar at Mario Batali’s West Village restaurant Babbo when she decided to use the restroom located upstairs. The incident allegedly occurred around 2 a.m. in the area. The woman alleges Mario had nonconsensual sex with her and that she was “physically helpless.”
The NYPD has launched an investigation into the woman’s claims.
Another report of an employee from Mario’s restaurant, The Spotted Pig, claims that the restauranteur drugged her and sexually assaulted her in 2005, according to the CBS News magazine 60 Minutes.
The accuser revealed in the 60 Minutes interview that she remembers sitting alone with the chef at a second-floor table drinking wine.
“It gets completely foggy for me. And this is — part of the messy, scary part for me, there is a part where it — it all disappears,” the woman revealed.
The woman told Anderson Cooper that she found evidence of the encounter on her skirt, a DNA sample from the chef.
Mario Batali has denied the claims against him regarding the Spotted Pig incident.
He stepped down from his restaurants, the Food Network, and as host of ABC’s The Chew after being accused of sexual assault by several women in 2017.
Mario later issued an apology for his inappropriate behavior, stating that acknowledges his “many mistakes” and for disappointing his fans.
“My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility,” the message reads. “Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition, and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you, my fans, I would never have a forum in which to expound on this.
“I will work every day to regain your respect and trust,” the message read.