A woman who has accused celebrity chef Mario Batali of sexual assault while unconscious puts herself in the crosshairs, introduces herself publicly for the first time since the alleged traumatic incident in 2005, and details her horrific experience.
In one minute, Eva de Vergilis, 43, said she was invited to an intimate dinner with Batali, her boss at the time, at the bar that has since closed, The Spotted Pig in 2005. The next day, she woke up on the floor of the private dining room . The New York Times reports that it remembers the alleged assault in a new documentary, “Batale: The Downfall of Superstar Chef.” It’s Thursday at Discovery+.
The documentary comes a month after the disgraced chef settled two lawsuits in Boston with two women who claim Batali publicly molested them in 2017. No criminal charges were brought against the former co-host of “The Chew” following the New York Police Department’s investigation into three possible assaults. Batali and his former business partner Joe Bastianich — who in 2019 stripped Batali of the B&B Hospitality restaurant empire, which included the likes of Lupa and Italian food market Eataly among others — agreed to pay a $600,000 settlement to more than 20 employees. They claimed that they were sexually harassed in their restaurants.
In the documentary, DeVirgilis — who anonymously told part of her story in a 2018 clip from “60 Minutes” — shared a hospital report from the day after the alleged assault that showed bruising to the ribs and multiple scrapes with DeVirgilis claiming she may have been drugged, New York reports Times.
DeVerglis, the aspiring actress who was 26 at the time, said she had been working at Papo’s full time for a year at the time of the alleged assault where she was able to manage restaurant reservations during the day and host during the evenings. Passionate and enthusiastic about working on the celebrity hunt, her father was a fan of the Italian chef.
“I was so naive,” she told The Times. “I knew I wouldn’t walk through Central Park at night or be alone in a stairwell. I didn’t know I should be afraid of a millionaire celebrity head in a public place.”
Batali and his lawyers did not respond to the film’s director, Sengili Agnew, according to the newspaper.
It was the night of June 3, 2005, according to DeVerglis, like any other. Batali would often invite friends and staff to the trout after hours as they gathered in the private room. DeVirgilis mentioned he’s excited to get an invite to the Spotted Pig.
“I thought I’d have a drink or two with the group, take the subway and go home,” she told The Times. But when she arrived, she found Batali alone waiting for her with a limousine and a bottle of Prosecco.
“He was married. It wasn’t what I thought at all,” she said.
DeVirgilis told The Times she remembered the chef who refilled her wine glass, sipped the liquor and tried to call it the night, saying she was working at 10 a.m. at his restaurant the next day. Batali allegedly told her to forget about work. The next thing she remembered was lying on a wooden floor in the restaurant with scratches on her body and what appeared to be semen on her clothes.
She remembers Batali kissing her firmly, she remembers vomiting.
“Looking back, it was the most chilling moment,” she told The Times, realizing that she was left at the restaurant and that Batali hadn’t waited to get up.
DeVerglis told the Times that she went home to work the next day. When Batali called and asked what had happened the night before, he told her “briefly” to take him to the kitchen, according to the Times. She reportedly called a rape crisis hotline and met with a counselor at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was given a rape kit and doses of oral contraceptives and AZT antibiotics, according to a hospital report obtained by The Times.
The hospital report noted, according to The Times, that “the patient reported that it was not clear from following up on the police report because her boss is a strong person who can blacklist her from the industry.”
Batali’s lawyer did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
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