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Mario Batali gives up stake in massive restaurant group after sexual misconduct allegations

The celebrity chef was accused in 2017 of groping and sexually harassing women.
Image: Chef Mario Batali
Chef Mario Batali takes part in filming his new thriller "Bitter Feast" in New York on Oct. 7, 2009.Amanda Schwab / StarPix via AP

Celebrity chef Mario Batali has officially been bought out of his restaurant group, more than a year after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

"We wanted to let you all know that Mario is now fully divested from our businesses. This week, we acquired all of his interests in our restaurants," Tanya Bastianich Manuali and Joe Bastianich of the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group wrote in a note to staff Wednesday.

Batali said in a statement Wednesday, "I have reached an agreement with Joe and no longer have any stake in the restaurants we built together. I wish him the best of luck in the future."

As of Wednesday, the group's website, which lists 20 restaurants in multiple states, was stripped of Batali's name entirely.

Tanya Bastianich will handle the day-to-day oversight at the group's restaurants, the note said.

"Thank you for your dedication to your craft and colleagues through a challenging year. The restaurants have been remarkably resilient because of your hard work and your commitment to giving our guests memorable experiences," said the note from Tanya Bastianich Manuali and Joe Bastianich, whose mother is celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich.

Eater New York published a report in December 2017 in which four women said Batali had groped them and made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature.

In a statement at the time, Batali apologized and said the accusations described by the women "match up with the way [he has] acted."

He said he would step away from the "day-to-day operations of my businesses," and was subsequently fired from hosting ABC's "The Chew," which was later canceled.

The New York Police Department opened a criminal investigation into Batali but closed it earlier this year due to lack of evidence, NBC New York reported.

Batali's website still lists restaurant and food-market chain Eataly locations in New York, Chicago and Boston as part of his restaurant portfolio. Eataly spokesman Chris Giglio said in a statement that the company was "in the process of acquiring Mr. Batali’s minority interest in Eataly USA."

Batali is also still invested in a New York restaurant, The Spotted Pig. NBC News reached out to The Spotted Pig for comment but did not immediately hear back.