Celebrity chef Mario Batali has given up all of his restaurants more than a year after he was accused of sexually assaulting and harassing women who once worked for him.
Mario “will no longer profit from the restaurants in any way, shape or form,” Tanya Bastianich Manuali, who will head day-to-day operations at a new company (not yet named) created to replace the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, said in a statement released on Wednesday, March 6. The 58-year-old and the Bastianich family had a 20-year partnership.
According to the NY Times, the new company will operate Mario’s 16 remaining restaurants under new management. The Chew alum will also be selling his shares of Eataly, a chain of luxury Italian supermarkets. Mario had numerous restaurants across the country, including in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. His food could also be found in places like Italy, Hong Kong and Singapore, but now his name won’t be attached to any of them.
Back in December of 2017, the chef, who is married with two kids, admitted to his wrongdoings after four women accused him of sexual misconduct in an article. He was also fired from The Chew. In a statement, Mario said, “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 continued, “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.”
He added, “I know my actions have disappointed many people. 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.”