Several allegations of sexual misconduct are adversely affecting hundreds of people who work with and for Chef Mario Batali. On Friday, Batali’s business partner Joe Bastianich notified the employees of three restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip that their doors would be closing for good on July 27, 2018.
Page Six reported that B&B Ristorante, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria at The Venetian and Palazzo resorts are shutting down in lieu of mounting allegations against Batali. Las Vegas Sands Corporation owns both The Venetian and The Palazzo properties and has confirmed that they have severed their business relationship with Batali & Bastianich (B&B) Hospitality Group.
A scathing episode of 60 Minutes led to allegations made by two women who claimed that the noted chef drugged and sexually them in 2004 and 2005. One of the incidents was said to have taken place in the “rape room” at The Spotted Pig restaurant and the other allegedly happened at Batali’s eatery called Babbo. The New York Police Department has opened criminal investigations in both cases.
Batali’s troubles don’t end there, however. Four other women have accused the restauranteur of touching them inappropriately. He has admitted to the behavior although he does not know the identities of the accusers. Batali apologized for these incidents but adamantly denies the drugging and sexual assault allegations.
“I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team,” Batali wrote in an email according to Page Six. “My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.”
The chef’s business interests have been adversely affected by the pending rape allegations. In addition to losing his minority ownership share in Eataly, B&B Hospitality Group is also parting ways with Batali.
“Our partnership with Mr. Batali is ending,” B&B said in a statement.
“We have been actively negotiating with Mr. Batali to buy his interests in the restaurants, and he and Joe Bastianich have signed a letter of intent that sets forth the broad terms to do so. We expect to have the final terms set by July 1, and that Nancy Silverton, Lidia Bastianich, Mr. Bastianich, and other current investors will participate in the acquisition.”
In December, Batali was also let go from his ABC cooking and daytime talk show The Chew. While there was speculation that he might be replaced, on Wednesday the network announced their decision to cancel the show. The show has aired for 1,500 episodes.