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Chef Mario Batali (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
Chef Mario Batali (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

‘It all disappears’

Former employee of chef Mario Batali says he drugged and assaulted her in restaurant’s ‘rape room’

By WITW Staff on May 21, 2018

A former employee of disgraced celebrity chef Mario Batali spoke to 60 Minutes about an alleged rape she suffered at Batali’s hands in 2005 at the Spotted Pig restaurant in Manhattan. The woman, who has remained anonymous since she still works in the restaurant industry, said she woke up on the third floor of the restaurant surrounded by broken bottles, covered in scratches, and with semen on her skirt. Batali and the Spotted Pig’s owner, Ken Friedman — who also has been accused of harassment and assault by at least 10 women — had reportedly referred to the room in which the victim says she awoke as the “rape room.”

Speaking to Anderson Cooper, the woman said that she was working for Batali at his restaurant, Babbo, when he invited her to a party at the West Village’s Spotted Pig. They were sitting at a table drinking wine on the second floor of the restaurant, she said, when things became “completely foggy.”

“This is — part of the messy, scary part for me, there is a part where it — it all disappears,” she said. “I remember a moment where I was on his lap, kissing him. Like, he was kissing me. And then I remember throwing up — in a toilet. And that is all.”

Next thing she knew, she was alone lying on the floor of the “rape room.”

“The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged,’” she recalled. “That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been — I’ve been assaulted.’”

When she returned to work just hours later and questioned Batali about what had happened, she said, “He just was silent, wouldn’t talk to me.” After work, she went to the hospital and spoke to an NYPD detective, but in the end she said she was too afraid of possible career repercussions to file a claim.

Batali, stepped down from his businesses in December after numerous women — many of whom were former employees — accused him of sexual harassment and assault. A former server at The Spotted Pig, Trish Nelson, has previously spoken about witnessing the restaurateur appearing to sexually assault an unconscious women at the restaurant — prompting the waitress to intervene. Nelson said that she and other employees had also endured constant sexual harassment from Batali when he visited the restaurant. Batali issued a public apology for his behavior in December, but it was derided as insincere by many after he spoke about his favorite “holiday-inspired breakfast” in the same breath as the accusations against him. In a statement to CBS, Batali said he “vehemently” denied the allegations mentioned by the anonymous victim.

Watch excerpts from the victim’s interview with 60 Minutes below.

Read the full story at The New York Post.


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