WESTPORT, Conn. — Famous chef Mario Batali, who owns the popular Tarry Lodge in Westport, is the latest man to come under fire after accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Batali has been removed as co-host of the afternoon talk show "The Chew" while ABC reviews the allegations, and The Food Network has put "Molto Mario" on hold, according to multiple media reports. He will also step away from operations involving his company's restaurants, ABC said.
The allegations came to light in an over 3,000-word article published at the Eater website.
The headline there reads: Mario Batali Steps Away From Restaurant Empire Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations: Four women accuse the chef of inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades, according to dozens of Eater interviews.
"The behavior was wrong and there are no excuses," Batali said in a statement reported by ABC News.
"We have asked Mario Batali to step away from 'The Chew' while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention," an ABC spokesperson said in a statement. "ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment."
Mario Batali and his team opened Tarry Lodge in Westport in the summer of 2011 in the landmark building across from the Westport Train Station in the Saugatuck neighborhood.
Tarry Lodge also has locations in New Haven and Port Chester, N.Y., and Batali operates restaurants around the world. Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group said the chef would also step away from the company's operations, ABC said.
He is the author of 10 cookbooks and launched the Mario Batali Foundation in 2008 to feed, protect, educate and empower children worldwide.
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