NEW YORK – Celebrity chef Mario Batali addressed allegations of sexual assault and harassment in a tone-deaf newsletter that included a recipe for “pizza dough cinnamon rolls.”
“I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility,” Batali wrote.
The chef went on to thank his fans and promised to “work every day to regain your respect and trust.”
The clincher then came in the form of a postscript that read, “in case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite.”
The apology, which included a link to the recipe on Batali’s web site, was met with shock and derision online.
Allison Castellano tweeted, “I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to give a worse apology than Harvey Weinstein, but Mario Batali managed it.”
In an apparent reference to actor Kevin Spacey’s response to sexual misconduct with underage boys, Twitter user @BSUBOMB wrote, “Only thing worse than ‘I sexually assaulted people, but hey! I’m gay,’ is ‘I sexually assaulted people, P.S. Pizza dough cinnamon roll recipe!’”
Melissa McEwan tweeted, “And people wonder why I’m cynical … about these apologies and keep asking who’s getting rich writing them. Because it sure ain’t these (expletive) writing them.”
Batali, a Seattle native was accused of making crass come-ons, kissing and groping an unconscious woman at the Spotted Pig, berating his employees, and touching other women without their consent.
The chef has stepped away from his restaurant empire, which includes eateries in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas.
He has also been kicked off ABC’S “The Chew,” while his products will be dropped by major retailers including Walmart and Target.
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