Multiple women accusing Mario Batali of sexual assault came forward to tell their stories publicly for the first time Sunday.
Women who worked for Batali said they called him “the Red Menace.” According to his accusers, Batali would belittle them, grab their breasts, and asked for “sexy pictures.”
“He would berate you, belittle you, make you feel like you were nothing,” said Trish Nelson on “60 Minutes.” Nelson was a former waitress at Batali’s hot spot, The Spotted Pig.
Nelson added that the nickname “Red Menace” was a warning for other women around. “It was a warning: ‘The Red Menace is here.’ Like, pull all of your bits in, Mario’s in town,” Nelson said.
Erin Fein, a former bartender at The Spotted Pig, said Batali did not just verbally abuse her but physically sexually assaulted her, and spoke about her experience publicly for the first time.
“He lunged forward, he grabbed my face, he started kissing me very sort of sloppily,” Fein said of the time Batali assaulted her. “He pulled up my shirt, he put his hands on me, and I felt frozen.”
Fein also described a time when Batali asked her for “sexy pix,” which caused her to worry about her job security. She chose not to respond to his debased request.
Send tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org