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NYPD probing sex allegations against celebrity chef Mario Batali

Contact ReporterNew York Daily News

The New York Police Department is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against celebrity chef Mario Batali.

The NYPD confirmed the probe following a "60 Minutes" broadcast Sunday night in which an unnamed woman accused Batali of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 2005.

The woman told Anderson Cooper that she met Batali, now 57, at a party at the Spotted Pig in 2005 and joined him for a glass of wine.

That’s the last she remembers.

“It gets completely foggy for me. And this is — part of the messy, scary part for me, there is a part where it — it all disappears. 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,” the woman said.

“I woke up by myself on the floor, I don’t know where I am, of an empty room, wooden floor. I see broken bottles. The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been … I’ve been assaulted.’”

The woman, who said she had “deep scratches” on her right leg and semen on her skirt, told Cooper that she confronted Batali after the alleged assault.

“I asked him. ‘What … what happened last night?’ And he just was silent, wouldn’t talk to me,” she said.

After work, she claims, she called a crisis hotline, underwent a physical examination at the hospital and spoke to a detective in the NYPD special victims division, but declined to file a report.

“They tried getting me to file a report. They tried, they tried,” she told “60 Minutes.”

“But I … you know, a young actress, no resources, no money. I couldn’t. I … I couldn’t do it.

Batali “vehemently” denied the allegations in a statement to CBS.

NYPD told CBS that “there is an ongoing criminal investigation into Mario Batali,” though the department would not confirm that to the Daily News.

Other former employees leveled similar accusations on “60 Minutes,” including several ex-Spotted Pig servers who told Cooper that Batali would frequently grope female wait staff.

Jamie Seet, a former manager at “The Spotted Pig,” said she saw surveillance footage of Batali grope an unconscious woman between her legs. Seet said she stepped in, but never called the police.

“You know he crossed a line. A huge, a huge line, as of … to doing … assaulting someone that’s unconscious,” she told “60 Minutes.”

“So we all went out there, and we stopped what was going on. ‘Hey Mario. How are you doing? Let’s get you a cab.’ Just, you know, we were saying something just to snap him out of this.”

In a statement to The News, B & B Hospitality Group, the company that manages the independently-owned restaurants that Batali helped to start, said it was cutting ties with Batali after the “chilling and deeply disturbing” allegations.

“We have worked for years with Mr. Batali to bring true, innovative Italian cuisine to our guests. He has been our partner and close friend, but the actions he has acknowledged required us to separate wholly so that we reinforce our core values for our employees and our guests,’ the company said.

“We remain focused on two priorities: ensuring that our employees work with equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination; and continuing to give our guests amazing dining experiences.”

The Crocs-clad cook stepped away from his restaurant empire in December after four women accused him of sexual misconduct dating back two decades.

“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,” he said in a statement at the time.

“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.”

The Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman also issued an apology after 10 women accused him of sexual misconduct.

The Associated Press contributed.

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