Mario Batali Steps Away as 'The Chew' Co-Host Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

Mario Batali said he is stepping away from "The Chew" after being accused of sexual assault by multiple women. The allegations, published Monday by Eater New York, stretch back decades and detail accusations against the celebrity chef.

Four women, three of whom worked for Batali in some capacity over the years, have alleged that the chef "touched them inappropriately in a pattern of behavior that appears to span at least two decades." The allegations include groping and other inappropriate behavior.

Batali owns B&B Hospitality Group with Joe Bastianich, which provides support to around 24 restaurants around the world, and in October 2017, a B&B employee reported inappropriate behavior by Batali to the company. The report marked the first formal complaint against the chef, and the company says Batali was reprimanded and required to undergo training.

In a statement to Eater, Batali said that he is stepping away from the day-to-day operations of his businesses for an unspecified period of time and did not deny all of the claims against him.

“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," the statement reads. "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."

"I know my actions have disappointed many people," he concluded. "The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time — my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans — I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.”

In addition, a spokesperson from ABC, which airs The Chew, shared that Batali has been asked to step away as co-host of the show “while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention," the spokesperson said.

Photo Credit: Getty / JB Lacroix