Batali has been officially accused of misconduct by four women.
The news was first broken by Eater New York. Their report features information gathered from four of Batali’s victims and dozens of interviews.
One woman says she went up to Batali at a party in New Orleans that took place about 10 years ago. She was a chef in her 20s and was therefore excited to meet someone with a reputation like Batali’s. She says that she realized upon talking to Batali had been drinking and that he gave her an “icky, provocative” feeling.
Moments after she began speaking with Batali, someone accidentally bumped into her, spilling her wine down the front of her shirt. The woman alleges that at this point, Batali began rubbing her breasts with his bare hands, saying, “Let me help you with that.”
“He just went to town, and I was so shocked,” the chef says. “Jaw on the ground, I just stepped back from him in utter disgust and walked away.”
Three of the women bringing allegations against Batali have worked for him in some capacity.
One of Batali’s former employees claims that over the course of two years, he repeatedly grabbed her from behind “like a linebacker, like a disgusting bear hug,” and held her tightly against his body.
“He would breathe on me,” she says, “and sometimes take a deep inhale, like he was smelling me.”
Another former employee says that Batali once put his hand on her behind and squeezed it. When she confronted him about his behavior, he responded, “What are you, a lesbian?” The same former employee also alleges that she was once working in a small space with him seated in such a way that blocked her exit from the space. When she tried to leave, he said “If you want to get up, you’re going to have to climb over me,” forcing her to effectively straddle him.
Yet another former employee says that Batali grabbed her breasts at a party — a separate incident from the New Orleans party we’ve already described.
Apparently, Batali was reprimanded in October of this year when a restaurant employee reported his inappropriate behavior to the company he co-owns. This appears to have been the first formal complaint against Batali.
Eater’s report also included Batali’s response to the allegations…