Mario Batali agrees to $600,000 settlement over sexual harassment | Inquirer Entertainment

Mario Batali agrees to $600,000 settlement over sexual harassment

/ 10:59 AM July 25, 2021

Celebrity chef Mario Batali, 58, is arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery at Boston Municpal Court in Boston

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery at Boston Municipal Court in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. May 24, 2019. Image: Reuters/David L. Ryan/pool

NEW YORK — Celebrity chef Mario Batali and his business partner have agreed to pay $600,000 to at least 20 former employees after an investigation found their Manhattan restaurants were rife with sexual harassment, the New York attorney general announced on Friday.

The culture of unwanted groping, kissing, hugging, sexual advances and explicit comments at Babbo, Lupa and Del Posto broke New York human rights laws, Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.


After waiters and other workers came forward with complaints, Batali sold his stake in his restaurants in 2019. Del Posto closed in April.


“When my female coworkers and I were being sexually harassed by multiple people at Del Posto, the restaurant’s leadership made us feel as if we were asking for it — as if it is a rite of passage to be harassed at work,” Juliana Imperati, a former line cook at Del Posto, said in a statement provided by the attorney general’s office.

The attorney general’s investigation found that Batali himself grabbed a female server’s hand and pulled it towards his crotch, and that he showed a male server an “unwelcome” pornographic video, according to a summary of the settlement.

Male managers at the restaurants made crass sexual comments, told female employees to wear make-up and insinuated to some of them that they should get breast implants. Some were told they could not be promoted to captain because they were a “girl.”

Batali could not immediately be reached for comment, but told the New York Times he would not be publicly discussing the settlement.

The $600,000 settlement will be paid by Batali; his partner, Joseph Bastianich; and their management company, Pasta Resources, formerly known as B&B Hospitality.

In 2018, Batali denied any allegations of sexual assault, but apologized for behavior that he acknowledged had been “deeply inappropriate.”


Prosecutors in Boston in 2019 separately charged Batali with forcibly groping and kissing a woman at a restaurant in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set. JB


Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty ahead of rape trial in Los Angeles

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Harvey Weinstein indicted in California, appears at extradition hearing

TAGS: celebrity chefs, Mario Batali, Sexual harassment, TV cooking shows

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.