Transcript for Mario Batali faces new accusations of sexual misconduct
Now to those new allegations of sexual misconduct rocking the food industry. Another prominent restaurant entrepreneur is facing claims of harassment as more accusations emergence Mario batali. ABC's linsey Davis is here with the very latest. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning, Amy. More women and more allegations against Mario batali and now the accusations are escalating. It's more than grabbing and groping. Some of his accusers allege heavy drinking on his part which they say led to abusive behavior and unwanted advances from a man known for indulging in the kitchen and allegedly beyond. More fallout this morning for Mario batali. A man known for cooking pasta to perfection now in hot water himself as "The Washington post" details new accusations of unwanted touching and inappropriate behavior at a party in to 10. She was a special events coordinator for Mario's restaurant in L.A. And she had been bent over a high top table and he groped her in a very intimate, very uncomfortable way. Reporter: Another woman at the party says a very drunk batali demanded she get into a car and, quote, make out with him. It felt like a situation that I was responsible for getting myself out of as quickly as possible. Reporter: Batali gave this statement to "The post" saying I apologize profoundly to the people I have mistreated and hurt. The entire day of events surround the party I was the personification of idiocy, a drunken and idiotic fool. That behavior was horribly wrong, shameful and degrading and there are no excuses. In a "New York Times" reports about sexual harassment accusations against the owner of the spotted pig a former manager told "The times" she saw available video of a drunk batali who was drunk groping and kissing a woman who appeared unconscious. This is after he stepped away from his businesses after past allegations were revealed. ABC released a estimating asking him to step away from "The chew" while they review allegations. Tuesday his co-hosts addressed his absence. We want you to know we take she's seriously and are committed to a safe work environment. Batali's bad behavior was just about as well known in the restaurant world as his cooking prowess. Sexual misconduct happens. It's rampant in every tri and the culinary industry is no different. It was finally time and people are able to find their voices and speak up and feel like there won't be repercussions. Reporter: Batali doled out advice on how to combat sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. Do you think there is a reck reckoning. I think it's coming across the board. Reporter: The chain where batali is part owner removed all his cookbooks and products including his signature sauces with his face on the label and the food network announced it's putting its plans on hold to revamp its show "Molto Mario". Let's bring in Dan Abrams for more on this, Dan, could Mario batali be facing criminal charges with some of these? Look, in theory, yes, because as we've talked about before, even an unwanted touching can be considered criminal. But you've got two issues here, number one is the possible statute of limitations. We've talked about that before as well as to when these things happen and, number two, whether they've got the desire, the resolve, the information to move forward with possible criminal charges. I think it's very unlikely, the more serious concern for him are civil lawsuits. Speaking to that because in a statement regarding some of these allegations batali says, acknowledges that some of this behavior occurred and so that the question then is is he opening himself up for civil lawsuits. As a sort of moral matter, what he said is the right thing to say. He took responsibility. Said it's unacceptable. He doesn't have excuses and as a legal matter, that's dangerous business. Meaning he's now given a statement to a plaintiff's lawyer to say, you see, he's basically admitting that not only has he done this one time, in this was a pattern because he's not even responding specifically to an individual. He is sort of saying as a blanket matter, yeah, you know, this kind of sounds like me but, again, with a civil lawsuit you will face the same question we talked about which is statute of limitations and for this sort of stuff, for example, in New York would range from one to three years depending on what the exact allegation was. And not that this is any excuse whatsoever, but talk a little about the environment in which some occurred, the restaurant stress, a testosterone-driven world some may say. Why I don't think this has come to light. It is an unstructured environment. There's typically not unless you're working forego a major, major conglomerate not an hr department at individual restaurants. And so single people have enormous power and influence and as a result, it can make it harder to report these sorts of things but I think that's going to change. Getting blackballed from the industry. I think that will change. Dan, thanks so much.
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