Mario Batali sexual misconduct allegations under investigation

EMBED </>More Videos

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

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.

She said she remembers joining him for a glass of wine at a Manhattan restaurant, then waking up on the floor feeling drugged and assaulted. She also said she talked to the police, but never filed a report.

Batali issued a statement to CBS denying that he assaulted the woman. He sent this statement to ABC News on Monday:

"I vehemently deny any allegations of sexual assault. My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions. I am not attempting a professional comeback. My only focus is finding a personal path forward where I can continue in my charitable endeavors - helping the underprivileged and those in need."

The celebrity chef stepped down from daily operations at his restaurant empire and ABC cooking show "The Chew" in December after four women accused him of inappropriate touching over a period of 20 years. Batali has apologized for those encounters.

The restaurant group co-owned by Batali said it has been "actively negotiating" to buy him out.

"Mr. Batali has had no direct involvement with Eataly since December 2017," a spokesperson for the food hall said in an emailed statement. "We have initiated a process to compel the divestiture of his small, minority interest in Eataly USA."

The B&B Hospitality Group said Batali and his partner, Joe Bastianich, have signed a letter of intent and final terms could be set by July 1.

B&B said it had been unaware of what it calls the "chilling" and "deeply disturbing" allegations.

ABC News contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
sexual misconductinvestigationnypdu.s. & worldcelebrity chefmario batalithe chewNew York
(Copyright ©2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)