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Mario Batali

Accused in Butt-Slapping Suit

Of Ignoring Sexual Misdeeds

12/22/2011 1:23 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1222_mario_batali_EX_01
Mario Batali's name has been dragged into a sexual harassment lawsuit in New York -- in which an ex-waiter claims the famous chef stood by for months ... while his fellow workers tortured him with butt slaps and masturbation stories.

Eugene Gibbons filed the suit in NY Supreme Court, claiming several co-workers ruthlessly harassed him while he worked at Batali's Babbo Restaurant in NYC -- co-owned by "MasterChef" judge Joe Bastianich.

According to the suit, Eugene's co-workers "smacked his buttocks on a weekly basis," repeatedly grabbed his genitals, and made crude sexual comments ... including one instance when an employee told Eugene he masturbated to Eugene's pictures after his wife went to sleep.

Eugene claims Batali and Bastianich were fully aware of the harassment -- but did nothing to stop it ...  the suit claims ... by their inaction the two chefs condoned the campaign of humiliation.

Eugene ultimately quit -- he's now suing his former co-workers and the restaurant for unspecified damages. Batali and Bastianich were not named as defendants. Calls to Mario and the restaurant were not returned.

33 COMMENTS

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1.

Arcadia Rink    

First and Happy Holiday to all TMZ Readers!

848 days ago
2.

dropped    

"butt did nothing to stop it"

good work tmz

848 days ago
3.

kesha    

how do you let someone smack you on the butt and do nothing about it for months? did he atleast say stop?

848 days ago
4.

Tammy    

Does this Eugene have proof that's why he QUIT? Because the defendants will deny it, the owners will deny it and all I hear from the plaintiff is hearsay. Hence, I hope there's tangible proof to back up his butt-slapping claiims.

848 days ago
5.

Cheryl A.    

Is everyone at TMZ 5 years old? Really, "knew about it for months butt did nothing to stop it" That is soooo childish.

848 days ago
6.

charley    

I dont joke with BITCHES anymore......the whores usually take everything out of context and then decide to sue for harassment....just phkn a bunch of suit happy bitches!

848 days ago
7.

Bob    

That's all the sex you can get so take what you can get.

848 days ago
8.

Donnie    

Seriously? Get over it, dude.

848 days ago
9.

Fan    

Masturbation - the sincerest form of flattery.

848 days ago
10.

TheMachine1    

This guy is a disgusting slob that exploits workers.

848 days ago
11.

Areader    

Joe Bastianich is not a chef!

848 days ago
12.

stu    

y does TMZ say B&B were NOT named as defendants? But says the suit is suing the restaurant=ie the owners=ie B&B. No?

848 days ago
13.

patty    

hmm i have a hard time believing this - if some one slapped me in the ass - i'd slap him right back - and i have done it b4

848 days ago
14.

patty    

hmm i have a hard time believing this - if some one slapped me in the ass - i'd slap him right back - and i have done it b4

848 days ago
15.

Spanky    

Dude that kind of behavior is TOTALLY normal in restaurant kitchens. Read Kitchen Confidential it talks about it in there too.

848 days ago
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