NEW YORK -- ABC Television has fired celebrity chef Mario Batali from "The Chew" amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
The allegations surfaced in an online report earlier this week, and Batali was immediately removed from the show while ABC investigated. But the network took swift action, issuing this statement Friday saying, "Upon completing its review into the allegations made against Mario Batali, ABC has terminated its relationship with him and he will no longer appear on "The Chew." While we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with our show, ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment and his past behavior violates our standards of conduct."
Batali also stepped away from his restaurant business after the news broke earlier this week.
The allegations came from four women who said Batali engaged in sexual misconduct dating back to the 1990s. The accusations include groping and inappropriate touching. At least three of the women have worked for Batali in some capacity.
Batali also issued this statement when the report first came out saying, "I apologize 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 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.
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 behavior. 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."
Variety reports the Food Network has also put on hold plans to relaunch the series, "Molto Mario."
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