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Style & Living Food and Drinks

New York State Is Investigating Mario Batali for Sexual Harassment at the Spotted Pig Restaurant

State attorney general Barbara D. Underwood issued a subpoena for records relating to Batali and Ken Friedman.

By Alesandra Dubin
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The New York attorney general is investigating claims of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination at New York City's Spotted Pig restaurant, according to the The New York Times.

The Times reports that today, state attorney general Barbara D. Underwood issued a subpoena to the holding company of the West Village restaurant, as well as its majority owner, restaurateur Ken Friedman. The Times cites its source as "a person with direct knowledge of the subpoena who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was not yet public."

The subpoena is seeking records related both to Friedman as well as Mario Batali, who invested in and frequently visited the restaurant. The subpoena is specifically seeking "sexually suggestive communications between Mr. Friedman and any employees, including nude photos or descriptions of the attractiveness or sexual availability of employees and job applicants."

As well, according to The Times report, "It also seeks video footage of Mr. Batali with female employees in the restaurant’s third-floor party room, as well as records of complaints related to sex harassment or discrimination based on employees’ gender or pregnancy."

According an earlier report published in the New York Times, claims accused both Friedman and Batali of frequently touching, propositioning and coercing female employees at the restaurant: "Some employees even called the restaurant’s third floor, a space set aside for V.I.P.s, 'the rape room.'"

Both Friedman and Batali declined comment for The Times report of the investigation. Batali said previously, “There is no question I have behaved terribly.”

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