Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali has been accused of sexual harassment by four women.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is stepping away from his show "The Chew" and his restaurant empire after four women anonymously accused him of sexual misconduct. The allegations, which span at least two decades, were detailed in a report published by food website Eater on Monday.

Batali did not deny the allegations, and apologized for his behavior in a statement to Eater: "... [M]uch of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.”

The allegations: Four women, three of whom had reportedly worked for Batali in some capacity, said the chef touched them inappropriately:

  • One woman who never worked for Batali said the chef rubbed her breasts "with his bare hands" after someone spilled wine down her chest.
  • Another accuser told Eater that Batali touched her inappropriately on several occassions while working for him in the 1990s. She detailed one instance when she says he approached her from behind at the restaurant and "put his hand on half of my butt and he squeezed it.”
  • Another former employee said Batali repeatedly grabbed her from behind and pressed her body against his.
  • A fourth accuser alleged that Batali grabbed her breasts at an industry party.

Backlash:

  • The Food Network said in a statement Monday that it is putting plans to relaunch Batali's “Molto Mario” show on hold.
  • An ABC spokesperson also said the network has asked Batali to step away from “The Chew” while reviewing allegations.
  • B&B Hospitality Group, which represents 24 Batali-owned restaurants, said it took the allegations “very seriously” and agreed with Batali that "he will step away from the company's operations."

Go deeper

Schumer: Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

Why it matters: Trump is the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. The House voted to impeach the former president on Jan. 13 on a single charge: incitement of insurrection for the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, which resulted in five deaths.

59 mins ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.