Batali: The Fall of a Superstar Chef–Hollywood Scandals: Anonymous Accuser Goes Public in Discovery+ Docu (Cancel Culture)

Anonymous Mario Batali Accuser Goes Public in Discovery+ Documentary

Eva DeVirgilis, a former hostess at Babbo in New York City, previously told part of her story anonymously to ’60 Minutes.’

A woman who previously accused celebrity chef Mario Batali of sexual misconduct anonymously has gone on the record for the first time in an upcoming Discovery+ docu.

In Batali: The Fall of a Superstar Chef, a former employee of one of Batali’s restaurants, Eva DeVirgilis, accuses Batali of sexually assaulting her in 2005 after taking her to a business he had invested in, The Spotted Pig. According to the documentary, DeVirgilis — a former hostess at West Village restaurant Babbo — previously told some of her story anonymously to Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes but has not told the story on the record before.

The New York Times, which ran a story, reported that DeVirgilis was one of more than 20 former employees at Batali and colleague Joe Bastianich’s restaurants who were awarded a $600,000 settlement for claims of sexual harassment in New York in 2021.

In the docu, helmed by Singeli Agnew (The Weekly), DeVirgilis claims that, one night in June 2005, she accepted Batali’s invitation to go to celebrity hotspot The Spotted Pig after work. She says Batali picked her up in a limo after her shift ended, and when she arrived at the restaurant, they were seated at a candlelit table for two and “the wine kept pouring.” DeVirgilis recalls, “I was like, ‘OK, well, I’m getting very tipsy, I’m feeling tipsy, I need to go home, I have to open the restaurant in the morning.’ He was like, ‘Fuck the restaurant, fuck work, I’m the boss,’ and everyone was like, ‘Yay!’”

DeVirgilis blacked out not long after. “And then I have a moment of flash where I’m being kissed by him, very like hard, and then I have another flash where I’m throwing up in a toilet, I sense that he’s behind me and then there was nothing,” she says in the documentary. She recalls waking up on a hardwood floor and wondering if she had been drugged because “I’m not the type of person that throws up. I don’t black out.” She adds, “I went to the bathroom and I saw deep scratches on the inside of my legs. And on the back of the skirt, it looked like semen. And when I saw that, I was terrified.”

Later, DeVirgilis adds, “I wish I had filed a report, but I wasn’t ready and I didn’t have the resources. It’s too scary. It’s still scary.”

The New York Times, which interviewed DeVirgilis, says she wouldn’t comment on whether she has since gone to the police about the incident.

Batali was found not guilty of sexual assault in a trial in Boston in May and settled 2 suits, including claim that went to trial, in August. The 2021 settlement in New York, meanwhile, came after an investigation by State Attorney General Letitia James’ office found that “B&B [management company B&B Hospitality], Batali, and Bastianich had engaged in unlawful sex discrimination and retaliation, in violation of state and city human rights laws,” James’ office said. In 2019 the New York Police Department closed 2 investigations of sexual misconduct claims against Batali, with an official telling CNN that they could not find probable cause in the cases and one was outside the statute of limitations.

After, he issued an apology that stated, “My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses.”