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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

Updated 7 hours ago - World

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A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.