AceShowbiz - Mario Batali will not face charges for sexual assault allegations against him. According to law enforcement sources, New York Police Department has closed its investigations into two sexual assault cases against the Italian chef.
TMZ reports that two cases were closed because there no witnesses or enough evidence to support claims made by the accusers. The site refers to a 2004 incident involving a woman, who claimed she was raped by Batali at his West Village eatery, and an alleged sexual assault on another woman in 2005 at his Spotted Pig restaurant.
NY Times begs to differ though. An NYPD official says that three cases accusing Batali of sexual assaults have been closed. Two of them were reportedly closed last summer, because they were beyond the New York State statute of limitations.
Meanwhile, prosecutors cannot bring charges in the third case because cold-case detectives in the Special Victims Division could not find enough evidence to support the alleged victim's claims. The case was closed in August of last year.
An NYPD spokesman declines to comment directly on any particular investigation, but says in a statement, "NYPD takes sex crimes and sexual assault very seriously, and encourages anyone with information about such a crime to report it to police, so perpetrators can be prosecuted, and justice can be secured for survivors."
Following news that Batali is off the hook in the sexual assault cases, people are celebrating on Twitter. Many of them, who have been rooting for the former "The Chew" co-host since the beginning, want ABC to bring back his show along with him.
"Bring back the chew already!!!! Have a blessed day," one reacts to the news. "I hope @thechew brings back @Mariobatali now that we know these claims of sexual assault were completely unfounded," reads another comment.
Another writes, "Now give him his career back!" Someone else feels sorry for Batali since the accusations have affected his career, "Too bad, his reputation is already ruined."
Some others call out the accusers for "lying." One writes, "I hope @Mariobatali sues these women and the network for destroying his reputation and wrongful termination."
Another agrees, adding, "Mario Batali. SEE !!!! It's shir like this that pisses me and I HOPE OTHERS off. F***ing RUINED his career and life for a couple years now and we HAVE NO F***ING CLUE WHO THE LIARS ARE. I want to see their name in print...."
Mario Batali. SEE !!!! It's shir like this that pisses me and I HOPE OTHERS off. Fucking RUINED his career and life for a couple years now and we HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHO THE LIARS ARE. I want to see their name in print.... https://t.co/j5JZF4rQDT— ROBERT BELLO (@HUBB105) January 9, 2019
"@Mariobatali happy for you Mario. I never doubted you. Women have gone overboard with this #metoomovement," another adds.
Batali himself has not responded to the closed investigations.