Yesterday's exposé of The Spotted Pig, a high end restaurant in New York City, drove the count even higher, as past and present employees told reporters "they regularly experienced or witnessed sexual aggression by Mr. Batali there."
The article, published in The New York Times, describes the ugly world behind the scenes at supposedly "high class" establishments like The Spotted Pig. The West Village hot spot is known for being a key social center point for the city's elite, and employees say they were expected to put up with catcalls, wandering hands, and outright physical advances from the owner Ken Friedman and his powerful friends.
Batali was among those friends. Employees say he was commonly referred to among staff as "The Red Menace," and claim that there was security footage at one point showing him groping and kissing an unconscious woman in the VIP room at a 2008 party.
Before this bombshell dropped, Batali had already announced he would step away from the ABC show as well as the management of his various restaurants. The celebrity chef has apologized for his behavior throughout the years, though he says he has few specific memories of the events described to him.
"Though I don't remember these specific accounts, there is no question I have behaved terribly," he said. "There are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused."
Batali has not responded to the new allegations by the staff at The Spotted Pig.