More than a year after celebrity chef Mario Batali was accused by several women of sexual harassment and assault, the former culinary star is giving up shares in his famous restaurants.
Siblings Tanya Bastianich Manuali and Joe Bastianich have purchased all of Batali’s shares in the 16 restaurants they ran under the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, a spokesperson for Manuali and Bastianich confirmed to TIME. The duo co-own several restaurants with their mother, Lidia Bastianich, who is also the star of PBS cooking shows such as “Lidia’s Italy.”
The New York Times first reported Wednesday that Batali will no longer profit from the restaurants he co-founded, including Babbo and Del Posto in New York City.
Manuali will now be running the day-to-day operations at the company, which will be reconfigured under a new name, according to the Times. The company had announced last May that it intended to end its partnership with Batali.
A spokesperson for the siblings said they had been working to remove Batali since the allegations emerged. He declined to comment on the details of the buyout.
Manuali and Bastianich confirmed that Batali has been divested the restaurants in a letter addressed to employees.
“Thank you for your dedication to your craft and colleagues through a challenging year,” the letter said. “The restaurants have been remarkably resilient because of your hard work and your commitment to giving our guests memorable experiences.”
Batali’s removal follows a year of controversy for one of America’s most famous celebrity chefs. Beyond owning and investing in well-known restaurants and businesses, including the high-end Italian grocery store and restaurant chain Eataly, Batali appeared in Food Network shows such as Iron Chef America and Molto Mario, and authored a dozen cookbooks, including bestseller Mario Batali BIG American Cookbook.
Eataly – which Batali invested in separately from his restaurant empire – is in the process of buying out Batali’s minority stake, spokesperson Chris Giglio confirmed.
Batali was one of a number of prominent men to come under fire as part of the #MeToo movement. In December 2017, the website Eater reported accusations by four women — including three who had worked directly under Batali — that he had touched them inappropriately.
Batali later released a statement, saying that he apologized to “people I have mistreated and hurt.” He denied allegations by two other women that he had sexually assaulted them. The New York Police Department opened and investigation, but charges were never filed.
Joe Bastianich has also been accused of being partially responsible for the poor treatment of staff at his family’s restaurants.
Another report from Dec. 22 by Eater quoted employees who said that Bastianich’s hard-partying behavior fostered a “boys club” atmosphere at the restaurants.
After the allegations emerged, Bastianich and the company both released statements to say that the company is working to make changes, including hiring an outside firm to examine the company’s compliance to sexual harassment policies.
“I’m proud of what our teams accomplish every day, and I’ve always tried to show respect for them and their work,” Bastianich wrote in a statement released the same day as the second allegations. “It pains me that some employees feel differently, and I’m reexamining my own behavior to ensure that everyone I work with feels that respect.”
On Wednesday, the spokesperson for Bastianich and Manuali said the siblings do not intend to have a large public profile at the restaurants in the future, and hope to allow the restaurants to speak for themselves.
Batali did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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