Mario Batali was seen out in New York’s tony West Village on a chilly winter day, his hands deep in his pockets obstructing his ring finger after a slew of sexual assault allegations.
The disgraced chef buried his hands deep in his pockets, concealing his ring finger, on which he was spotted previously sporting a wedding band from his marriage with Susi Cahn, following the allegations made by 10 women that were revealed in December.
Wearing bright orange Crocs, a bright orange messenger bag, faded orange pants, his favorite tiny sunglasses, and his red hair tucked into his signature low pony tail, he appeared cold as he walked alone on the brisk city day.
Mario Batali was seen walking in the West Village amid recent sexual misconduct allegations, wearing bright orange Crocs and a matching tote on a chilly New York day
Batali had his hands buried firmly in his pockets making it impossible to tell if he was still wearing his wedding band following allegations by multiple women of sexual misconduct
The 57-year-old father-of-two has been accused by over 10 women of sexual misconduct, a behavior that was an open secret among members of the New York City restaurant scene.
The staff at one of the city’s most popular establishments, The Spotted Pig, even referred to him at the time of the reports as ‘The Red Menace.’
Following the late 2017 news, Batali announced he stepped down from his restaurant empire and would no longer be appearing as a host on his ABC daytime show The Chew in the wake of the allegations against him.
That came soon after Eater published an article in which four women accused the chef of inappropriate groping over the years.
One of the women said that Batali groped her chest after wine spilled on her shirt while another said he grabbed her from behind and held her tightly against his body.
Three of those four women asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution from Batali, who was their boss at that time.
Batali admitted that ‘much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted.’
A representative for his restaurant business, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, said an employee reported inappropriate behavior by Batali in October.
The company told Eater it was the first formal complaint against Batali and that he was reprimanded and required to attend training.
The group’s restaurants include Babbo in New York, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles.
It is also a partner in Eataly, an Italian food hall and grocer, which has locations in New York, Chicago and Boston.
His career took off after opening Po in New York City in the early 1990s, and he skyrocketed to fame with the airing of Molto Mario, a show that ran on the Food Network for eight years, until 2004.
When news first broke that 10 women were accusing him of sexual misconduct, he was still wearing his wedding ring (pictured with wife Susi Cahn)
Batali admitted in December that much of the behavior detailed seemed in line with things he had done, but it is unclear if he and Cahn are still together (pictured in 2015)
It was there that his signature look, a fleece vest, shorts, and orange Crocs, became recognizable to most people. He has also won several prestigious James Beard awards.
A spokesperson for the Food Network said on Monday that a planned reboot of Molto Mario had been put on hold, adding that it ‘takes matters like this very seriously.’
Batali also released an additional apology that caused an uproar when he included a recipe for a cinnamon roll at the bottom of the blast email.
‘I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility,’ said Batali.
‘Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you — my fans — I would never have a forum in which to expound on this.’
He closed out by stating: ‘I will work every day to regain your respect and trust.’