Mario Batali was accused of sexual assault by four women in an exposé published by Eater New York on Monday, but the chef was singing a very different tune just weeks ago.
At the Fast Company Innovation Festival in October, Batali opined that a "reckoning" was coming in terms of the exposure of sexual harassment in the workplace.
"I think the reckoning is coming across the board. It is a time for women and men to face each other across the board, across the table," he said, according to Fast Company.
Describing the mostly female staff at his restaurant Del Posto, he said, "It's not because they have a vagina, it's because they are the smartest people for the job."
"The industry is changing a lot and people are trying to do the right thing and it's still slow to come…What you can do is push forward and do the right thing in your own place," Batali added.
In the Eater exposé, the women allege that Batali "touched them inappropriately in a pattern of behavior that appears to span at least two decades."
In October, an employee of B&B Hospitality Group, which is co-owned by Batali, 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 light of the allegations, Batali has been asked to step away as co-host of ABC's The Chew "while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention," an ABC spokesperson said.
In a statement, Batali did not deny all the accusations 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," he said. "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."
Photo Credit: Instagram / @mariobatali