Multiple Women Accuse Chef Mario Batali of Sexual Assault in Harrowing 60 Minutes Episode
Multiple women accused celebrity chef Mario Batali of sexual assault and misconduct — with the allegations ranging from drugging and sexually assaulting one woman to groping another who was unconscious — in a harrowing episode of 60 Minutes that aired Sunday night.
Batali, who took leave from his restaurant empire last December after a number of women accused him of sexual misconduct, apologized for his actions but denied that he had assaulted the women.
One of his accusers, a woman who worked at Batali’s West Village restaurant Babbo, told Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes that she was assaulted being invited to the Spotted Pig — a once trendy restaurant now notorious for the abuse that allegedly occurred there — by the celebrity chef in 2005 for a party.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Cooper that she remembers sitting alone at a table on the second floor of the restaurant with Batali drinking wine.
“It gets completely foggy for me. And this is part of the messy, scary part for me. There is a part where it all disappears,” she explained. “I remember a moment where I was on his lap, kissing him. Like, he was kissing me. And then I remember throwing up, in a toilet. And that is all.”
The woman said she next woke up alone on the floor of the third floor of the restaurant at dawn, surrounded by broken bottles.
“I woke up by myself on the floor — I don’t know where I am — of an empty room, wooden floor. I see broken bottles. The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been — I’ve been assaulted.’”
She told Cooper that her right leg “was very deeply wounded,” but she didn’t feel like she had been raped.
“But I also did find — I looked down at my skirt, there were two areas. It looked like DNA,” she said.
“Semen?” Cooper asked, and the woman confirmed.
She said she confronted Batali the next day about what had happened, but that the chef didn’t respond. She went to the hospital, and the police department, though she declined to file a police report.
“I knew something very wrong happened to me,” she said.
In a statement, Batali “vehemently” denied that he had assaulted her.
Three years later, there was another horrific incident in the third floor party room of the Spotted Pig.
Jamie Seet, a manager at the restaurant, described to Cooper what she saw on surveillance footage — and her account was confirmed by four others who were also there.
Seet said that while she was counting receipts at the end of the night, a party on the third floor had dwindled to just two people: Batali and another woman.
As Seet watched the two from a monitor in the office of the restaurant, she saw Batali reach his hand up and touch between the legs of the woman — who appeared to be unconscious.
“He crossed the line,” Seet said. “A huge line, of assaulting someone who was unconscious.”
Seet continued that she and others went up to the room and stopped what was happening. A number of employees later watched the video of the assault, and informed owner of the Spotted Pig Ken Friedman, who himself is facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
“You have no doubt you saw Mario Batali sexually assaulting an unconscious or semi-conscious woman?” Cooper asked.
“No doubt at all,” Seet replied. “To this day I feel ashamed that I never called the police.”
The woman who Batali allegedly assaulted declined an interview with 60 Minutes.
Watch above, via CBS News.
[image via screengrab]
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