According to the story, Batali groped fans while posing for photos. One of the women, Natali Tene, a 28-year-old from Boston, says that in April 2017, Batali groped her at the Boston bar Towne Stove and Spirits. “She claims that Batali, who seemed intoxicated, suggested they take selfies together, then rubbed her breasts, grabbed her backside, put his hands between her legs, and kept squeezing her face into his as he kissed her,” Eater writes.
The resulting photos were provided to Eater. The site has posted short video clips of Batali kissing and groping women. Deadline has not independently varified the site’s claims.
“Eater is choosing to publish clips of two of these encounters,” the article states, “with the permission of the women in them. We realize the clips may be disturbing to readers, but the reporting around these issues can often seem abstracted; the women have agreed to make them public to offer a fuller view into what they experienced.”
The latest accusations arrive after New York police confirmed an investigation of two sexual assault accusations against Batali. The chef has denied the allegations.
Three of Batali’s Las Vegas restaurants recently announced their pending closures as the NYPD ramps up its investigation.
Eater says that the seven additional women who shared their Batali experiences with the site brings the total number of women alleging sexual misconduct against the chef to “at least 18.”
The additional incidents, Eater says, “did not escalate to the rape allegations currently being investigated by police,” but they “paint a broader picture of the chef’s alleged misconduct, behavior that started at least as early as the mid-’90s and continued until as recently October 2017.”
Another of the women in the Eater story is Jenny McCoy, a pastry chef and cookbook author who said Batali, “a chef she had long admired,” vigorously “rubbed her breasts when wine was spilled on her chest” at an event in New Orleans in 2007.
Eater says Batali declined comment the allegations.