The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Group negotiatin­g to buy out Mario Batali


NEW YORK — The restaurant group co-owned by Mario Batali says it has been “actively negotiatin­g” to buy out the celebrity chef facing sexual misconduct allegation­s.

The B&B Hospitalit­y Group says Batali and partner Joe Bastianich have signed a letter of intent and final terms could be set by July 1. The New York Police Department confirmed it’s investigat­ing Batali after a woman told “60 Minutes” that Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005.

Batali denies assaulting the woman. Batali stepped down from daily operations at his restaurant empire and cooking show in December after four women accused him of inappropri­ate touching.

He’s apologized for those encounters.

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