The celebrity chef duo Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich were ordered to pay $600,000 for violating New York’s human rights laws after their four-year-long investigation by the Attorney General found that they had sexually assaulted 20 people while working at one of their restaurants.
According to James, the investigation found at least 20 employees “witnessed or personally experienced unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate touching, and sexually explicit comments from managers and coworkers.” The report also states that several female employees were forcibly groped by male colleagues.
The three restaurants are all located in Manhattan.
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“Batali and Bastianich permitted an intolerable work environment and allowed shameful behavior that is inappropriate in any setting,” James told The New York Times. “Celebrity and fame do not absolve someone from following the law.”
The agreement also requires that the restaurant’s training materials involving anti-sexual harassment and discrimination be revised. They will need to submit biannual reports certifying their compliance as well.
“The past few years have truly been a transformative period,” Bastianich said in a statement to The New York Times. “Including the pandemic, there have been a lot of lessons learned over the past three and a half years, and it has allowed us to redefine our business and the culture we want to foster within our restaurants, emerging as the company we want to be.”
After a second accuser came forward on 60 Minutes and claimed Batali drugged her, the famed chef was fired by his company.
After an accusation of sexual assault surfaced in December 2017, Mario Batali has been removed from The Chew due to four different accusations with two decades of allegations spanning across several industries throughout this country.
“I woke up by myself on the floor, I don’t know where I am, of an empty room, wooden floor,” said the woman, who said that she was an employee at Babbo at the time. “I see broken bottles. The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been — I’ve been assaulted.'”
Batali, who has been embroiled in accusations of sexual misconduct for months now and recently denied allegations against him from a former employee as “lies,” is joining the ranks with other high-profile men accused of abuse.