Mario Batali (FOX file)
NEW YORK (AP) — The restaurant group co-owned by Mario Batali said it has been "actively negotiating" to buy out the celebrity chef facing sexual misconduct allegations.
The B&B Hospitality Group said Batali and partner Joe Bastianich have signed a letter of intent and final terms could be set by July 1.
The New York Police Department confirmed that it is investigating Batali after a woman told "60 Minutes" that Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005.
Batali denies assaulting the woman.
B&B said it had been unaware of what it calls the "chilling" and "deeply disturbing" allegations.
Batali stepped down from daily operations at his restaurant empire and cooking show in December after four women accused him of inappropriate touching.
He has apologized for those encounters.
Batali's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.