Mario Batali Sells Restaurant Shares After #MeToo Scandal

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Celebrity chef Mario Batali has sold all shares in his restaurant group to his partners as he fully financially divests from his partnership with the Bastianich family. The Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group has been in a partnership for 20 years.

Bravo’s The Feast says that it’s been over a year since Batali was embroiled in his own #MeToo scandal. Several women came forward to accuse him of sexual assault and harassment. Siblings Tanya Bastianich Manuali and Joe Bastianich have bought Batali out of his remaining shares in the partnership, and have issued a statement on the matter.

“[Batali] will no longer profit from the restaurants in any way, shape, or form.”

Accusations against Batali surfaced in December of 2017, and soon after, the celebrity chef was fired from the ABC daytime show The Chew. Several of his restaurants closed, and many other chefs moved to distance themselves from their association with him.

The New York Times says that Tanya Bastianich Manuali will head up the day-to-day operations of the newly formed restaurant partnership, which is at this time unnamed. The new group will continue operating the remaining 16 restaurants, but the other terms of the buyout are not being publicly disclosed.

Chef Mario Batali is also in the process of selling his shares in Eataly — a chain of upscale Italian supermarkets — according to the spokesman for the company, Chris Giglio.

“Eataly is in the process of acquiring Mr. Batali’s minority interest in Eataly USA.”

After several women who worked at Batali’s restaurants came forward to allege that the chef had sexually harassed, assaulted, or created a hostile workplace for them, he continued to handle the matter in a less than ideal fashion. He issued what has been called an awkward apology, per The Inquisitr.

Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen soon after Batali published his apology. She said that the chef’s statement started out on the right note, but quickly went awry, minimizing the pain he had caused and casting doubt on his sincerity.

Batali began his note with an apology for being sexually inappropriate, and expressed sadness if he had made anyone in his employ feel uncomfortable. He then offered up a recipe for cinnamon rolls, which was widely seen as an odd choice.

Lakshmi told Cohen that by adding the recipe at the end, it made his apology sound insincere.

“I’m sure the recipe is a great one, but it seemed like he didn’t take it seriously.”