The New York Police Department has closed two investigations of sexual misconduct against celebrity chef Mario Batali, sources have told TMZ and CNN.
A law enforcement official told CNN that one case was outside the statute of limitations and the NYPD was not able to determine probable cause in either case. The law enforcement official confirmed with CNN that the department does not have any cases open for Batali at this time.
The NYPD declined to confirm the reports.
“The NYPD declines comment on the specifics of any particular investigation,” an NYPD spokesperson said. “The NYPD takes sex crimes and sexual assault very seriously and encourages anyone with information about such a crime to report it to police, so perpetrators can be prosecuted, and justice can be secured for survivors.”
Batali stepped down from operations of his restaurant group, B&B Hospitality, amid allegations of sexual harassment from four women as first reported in December 2017. Three of the women in the report worked for the celebrity chef and accused Batali of inappropriate touching and behavior, including groping. At the time, B&B Hospitality had hired its own team to investigate the allegations.
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt,” Batali said in a statement at the time. “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 the 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.”
A CBS “60 Minutes” report followed the initial allegations, accusing Batali of drugging and assaulting women in 2004 and 2005, allegations which Batali “deeply and vehemently denied.” The May report also confirmed that the NYPD was investigating Batali for crimes of criminal sexual misconduct.
Following the allegations, B&B Hospitality Group and Eataly cut ties with the celebrity chef, and the ABC network canceled “The Chew” — a talk show that Batali co-hosted.
In August 2018, The New York Times reported that both Batali and restaurateur Ken Friedman — who was also named in the “60 Minutes” report — were under investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office for allegations of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
The New York Attorney General’s office, B&B Hospitality and a Batali spokesperson did not immediately return requests for comment.
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