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Mario Batali tripped up by sexual misconduct allegations

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 20, 2016, file photo, Mario Batali attends an awards dinner in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

Mario Batali is giving up oversight of the daily operations at his restaurant empire following reports of sexual misconduct by the celebrity chef over a period of at least 20 years.

The online site Eater New York reported Monday that the incidents involve at least four women, three whom worked for Batali. In a prepared statement sent to The Associated Press, Batali said that the complaints "match up" with his past behavior.

"I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family," Batali said.

A spokesperson for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group says an employee reported inappropriate behavior by Batali in October. The company told Eater it was the first formal complaint against Batali and that he was reprimanded and required to attend training.

Batali will also take leave from his ABC cooking show, "The Chew."

"We have asked Mario Batali to step away from The Chew while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention," the network said Monday. "ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment. While we are unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with the show, we will swiftly address any alleged violations of our standards of conduct."

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