New York City authorities have decided not to pursue criminal charges against Mario Batali after investigating allegations that the famed chef-operator sexually harassed three women.
Two of the alleged incidents occurred beyond the statute of limitations, and the police had insufficient evidence to justify charges in the third instance, authorities told The New York Times.
Since the investigations into Batali began last spring, New York City has lifted its statute of limitations on sexual harassment charges. If the new standard had been in effect at the time of the alleged incidents, Batali could have been charged. But the new law is not retroactive, and the events under scrutiny allegedly occurred in 2005 and ’06.
The decision by the New York Police Department was a rare bit of good news for Batali, who has stepped away from many of his business interests after two media exposes alleged in 2017that he had molested women after they had been drinking. Batali has apologized for acting inappropriately toward some of his accusers and employees, but has flatly denied he ever sexually assaulted anyone.
The accusations were part of a wave of allegations leveled against famous chefsin late 2017.
The restaurants that were opened and run by Batali include Babbo, Lupa, Otto and Bar Jamon. He was also a principal in Eataly, the Italian food hall concept.