Anthony Bourdain calls out celebrity chef friend just before he's accused of sexual assault with cryptic tweets

The 'No Reservations' speaks out about the sexual assault allegations against Mario Batali

Ilana Kaplan
New York
Monday 11 December 2017 17:12
Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images.
Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images.

Since the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault news broke in October, outspoken celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has been at the forefront of the crusade against men who abuse their positions of power to harass women.

The No Reservations star has even took aim at his own industry, describing the restaurant world as having a "meathead culture."

Now, allegations of sexual misconduct have hit even closer to home as friend and peer, Chef Mario Batali, has been accused of sexual assault in an investigation by food website Eater.

On Sunday, Bourdain alluded to bad news, saying that Monday was going to be particularly grim - hours later, the expose of Batali dropped.

Bourdain tweeted: "It's Batali. And it's bad."

In Eater's piece, Batali is accused of at least four incidents of "inappropriate touching" during the course of 20 years. He will reportedly no longer host ABC food and lifestyle series The Chew, and says he is stepping away from the day-to-day operations of his businesses.

Since the news broke, Batali has issued an apology without acknowledging the individual incidents, just saying they "matched up" with his behaviour.

In a statement, he said: “I apologise 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 behaviour described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behaviour 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.

“I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behaviour. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there.

"I know my actions have disappointed many people. The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time — my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans — I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.”

Kudos to Bourdain for speaking out about his friends, no matter how difficult it might be.

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