September 22, 2019 | 69° F

Rutgers alumnus, 'The Chew' host Mario Batali accused of sexual misconduct

His inappropriate behavior may span over two decades, according to reports

Photo by Wikimedia |
Rutgers alumnus Mario Batali has been accused of sexual misconduct against multiple women. He stepped down from the daily operations of his business since the allegations came to light.

Rutgers alumnus and famous television chef Mario Batali allegedly sexually assaulted multiple women over the span of several decades, according to a report published by Eater on Monday.

Batali announced that he is stepping away from daily operations of his business, as well as the television show he co-hosts on ABC, “The Chew,” after the reports surfaced. 

He has been accused of groping approximately 10 women at a party in New Orleans.

One of his victims from a separate occasion claims that Batali groped her at a party in 2011, and another victim said Batali acted inappropriately toward her two years ago at one of his restaurants in the West Village. Another woman claims Batali groped her and forced her to straddle him, according to NJ Advance Media.

Batali graduated from Rutgers in 1982, where he got his culinary start at local New Brunswick restaurant, Stuff Yer Face. 

Amid a successful culinary career, Batali was inducted to the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2004, which boasts it “has been an extraordinary celebration of the University’s best and brightest graduates.” 

"While there is no current process for removing someone who has been voted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni, the University, as a national leader in research into the prevention of sexual harassment and abuse, has urged the Rutgers University Alumni Association to investigate this matter and take appropriate action following that investigation," said University spokesperson Dory Devlin. 

Ten years later, he donated $10,000 to Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH). The organization did not respond to a request for comment by press time. 

In a statement to The New York Times, Batali said the accusations “match up” with his behavior. 

In part, the statement reads, “I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.”

Editor's Note: This article was updated to include a statement from a University spokesperson.

Chloe Dopico

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