Police Quietly Closed Sexual-Assault Investigations Into Mario Batali Months Ago

Mario Batali. Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Fast Company

The New York City Police Department closed its investigations into claims of sexual assault against Mario Batali last summer, due to New York’s statute of limitations, and lack of sufficient evidence.

Back in May, the New York Times reported that the NYPD was looking into two claims of sexual assault against Batali, the first from 2004, when a woman says the celebrity chef raped her at Babbo, his restaurant in Greenwich village, and the second from 2005, when another woman says Batali raped her while she was passed out in the VIP room (also referred to by some employees as “the rape room”) at The Spotted Pig. These investigations were closed last summer, because they were beyond the state’s statute of limitations, according to a new report today from the Times, which also reveals that the NYPD had been looking into a third claim from a woman who says she was drugged and raped in The Spotted Pig’s rape room eight or nine years ago. The third case was closed in August, because investigators said they could not find enough evidence to bring charges. A police official told the Times that these cases could be potentially be reopened if new evidence emerges.

In a statement to CBS News in May, Batali vehemently denied the 2005 allegation against him, while acknowledging, “My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions.”

The NYPD investigations came several months after numerous women came forward to accuse Batali of sexual misconduct. Batali was then fired from his hosting job at ABC’s The Chew and stepped away from his massive restaurant empire. A few days after Eater published the first story about the claims against Batali, the chef sent an email to fans and subscribers apologizing for his behavior. The email included a recipe for Pizza Dough Cinammon Rolls, “a fan favorite.” In the summer, Batali was reportedly considering a move to Italy’s famed Amalfi coast.

Mario Batali Won’t Face Sexual-Assault Charges for Now