On Tuesday, March 10, Mario Batali was found not guilty in his trial for indecent assault and battery of Natali Tene.
Judge James Stanton stated Batali’s conduct was “not befitting of a public person of his stature.” However, he also said Tene has “significant credibility issues” that supported his “contention that her motive was financial gain.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said he was disappointed with the decision. “It can be incredibly difficult for a victim to disclose a sexual assault. When the individual who committed such an abhorrent act is in a position of power or celebrity, the decision to report an assault can become all the more challenging and intimidating.”
In 2017, multiple women accused Batali, 61, of unwanted propositions and gropings. Four women have currently said he sexually assaulted them.
Batali addressed the allegations, “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.”