One day after Mario Batali was outed by Eater NY on Dec. 11 for reportedly groping and harassing four women, Italian marketplace Eataly announced the chain will no longer carry any products affiliated with the celebrity chef, Eater reports.
“This move is consistent with Mario Batali not being actively involved with Eataly,” a company spokesperson confirmed to the outlet, as Batali’s books, sauces, pastas, olive oils and vinegars were quickly removed from store shelves.
The restaurateur co-owns Eataly with Joe Bastianich, who told Eater the chain has replaced Batali’s products with those of his mother Lidia as they continue to review “what’s best for the company” moving forward.
Operating five locations across the U.S., the chain looks to distance itself from Batali just weeks after FICO Eataly World opened its doors in Bologna, Italy, which was billed as “the world’s largest agri-food park.” In addition, Eataly recently announced plans to file for an IPO on the Italian Stock Exchange.
Batali’s $250 million empire is reported to be in jeopardy as the allegations are investigated.
Batali, the author of 11 cookbooks and owner of 23 restaurants, was largely a public face for Eataly, attending and promoting the openings of all new locations.
Further, other New York City eateries co-owned by Batali, such as Lupa, Otto and Babbo have also stripped his products from their shelves in the wake of the claims, as his upcoming Food Network series has been put ‘on hold’ and ABC’s “The Chew” has severed ties with the chef for the time being.
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted,” Batali said in a statement to Eater on Monday, noting that he would step down from the daily operations of his many businesses for an undisclosed amount of time.
Just one day after the news broke, the Hollywood Reporter reported that the Eataly location in Manhattan’s Flatiron District was as busy as ever, and that shoppers polled anonymously seemed relatively unbothered by the allegations.