New York City cops reportedly have dropped their investigation of Mario Batali, at least for the time being. A law enforcement official told CNN on Tuesday that the NYPD no longer has any open sexual-assault investigations against the 58-year-old celebrity chef, though there are varying reports on how many there had been. The source tells CNN that of two cases that were looked into by the NYPD’s Special Victims Division, one had fallen outside the statute of limitations, and that probable cause couldn’t be developed in either. Sources tell TMZ that evidence and witnesses for both cases were lacking. An NYPD official tells the New York Times that the department had investigated and closed three separate cases involving Batali, all of which involved women who said they’d been drinking and couldn’t fully recall what had happened.
Meanwhile, a senior law-enforcement official tells the Daily Beast that the NYPD looked into a total of four cases. Per Fox News, one of the cases involved a woman who claimed Batali raped her in 2004 at his most well-known eatery, Babbo; a second case involved a woman who says Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005 at the Spotted Pig, a restaurant he often frequented. Batali began facing the sexual misconduct accusations in late 2017. An NYPD official tells the Times that this news doesn’t mean the NYPD is done with Batali forever: If more evidence pops up in any of these cases, they could be reopened. (The show The Chew, which Batali once hosted, was booted off the air last spring; Batali had been fired from it the previous December.)