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NYPD is investigating Mario Batali, who was plotting a comeback

NYPD is investigating Mario Batali, who was plotting a comeback
[Photo: Lance Cheung/USDA/Flickr]

As the pace has slowed down on famous men getting exposed as abusers, the conversation has turned more toward long-term consequences–or lack thereof. Let’s not forget that the #MeToo phenomenon began in tandem with the rollout of the film Daddy’s Home 2, which featured the thoroughly disgraced Mel Gibson in his first family-friendly role in a decade.

In April, a glut of reports emerged, claiming that several recently outed predatory men, including Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, were exploring options for pursuing a comeback. Apparently, the statute of limitations on sexually harassing (or much worse) co-workers is roughly half a year. Or perhaps not. One of the men rumored to be plotting a course back to public life was Mario Batali–and as 60 Minutes reported on Sunday, the NYPD has opened a criminal investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

Batali’s downfall arrived precipitously last December, when Eater put out a comprehensive exposé on his proclivities. (Four women accused the chef of inappropriate touching in a pattern that spread out over 20 years.) Batali subsequently admitted to and apologized for the behavior–absurdly including a recipe for cinnamon rolls in the apology–and stepped away from his empire. Cut to four months later, and Batali was said to be possibly planning a comeback. Whatever he had in mind now seems more out of reach.

60 Minutes broke the news in a piece on Batali’s accusers, one of whom claimed that the chef had drugged and molested her. This anonymous accuser also revealed that detectives asked her to file charges against Batali back in 2005, but she refused. It sounds as though she may have had a change of heart since then.

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