Mario Batali: Fired From ABC’s The Chew Amidst Growing Sex Scandal

The narrative arc of Mario Batali’s fall from grace is one that’s become tragically familiar in recent months.

On Monday, Batali stepped away from his various business ventures following allegations of sexual assault and harassment from several female staffers.

The celebrity chef issued a boilerplate apology in which he accepted blame for his actions, while simultaneously defending himself against the more egregious charges.

As time went on, the accusations against Batali continued to increase in both number and severity.

As more women came forward, the evidence against the 57-year-old food icon mounted, culminating in claims from a former employee who says he looked on in horror as Batali kissed and groped an unconscious woman.

The incident was allegedly captured in footage taken by a security camera.

Yesterday, Batali’s most high-profile employer, the Disney-owned ABC network, announced that it would the chef and restaurateur had been fired from his role as one of the hosts of the daytime, food-focused talk series The Chew.

“Upon completing its review into the allegations made against Mario Batali, ABC has terminated its relationship with him and he will no longer appear on The Chew,” said an ABC spokesperson.

“While we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with our show, ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment and his past behavior violates our standards of conduct.”

To many, the news of Batali’s misconduct is sadly unsurprising.

However, to those familiar only with the more family-friendly side of the Croc-clad chef, as presented on television and in social media, the allegations against Batali surely come as a shock.

Within the NYC restaurant scene, Batali had a reputation for crude comments and predatory behavior.

In a scathing New Yorker piece published earlier this week, author Helen Rosner recounts several tales of boorish behavior from Batali that failed to raise eyebrows in the pre-Weinstein era.

“You will eat your pasta or I will rub the shrimp across your breasts,” Batali casually told a friend’s wife at one meal.

At the same meal, the chef reportedly remarked to a waitress, “It’s not fair I have this view all to myself when you bend over. For dessert, would you take off your blouse for the others?”

It remains to be seen if Batali will face any criminal charges.

But whatever his future holds, it appears that the celebrated chef’s kitchen career is now decisively over.

And the world of fine dining is all the safer for it. 


Amanda Bynes: “Struggling” Amidst Mental Illness Relapse, Source Claims

For Amanda Bynes, the road to recovery has been a long and difficult one with many potholes and detours along the way.

Bynes’ struggle with mental illness played out in the public eye, and when she began to show signs of recovery earlier this year, fans rejoiced at the thought of having “the old Amanda” back.

Now, it seems their celebrations may have been premature.

Sources close to Bynes tell In Touch Weekly that the actress has suffered a “major relapse” and that she’s “struggling to regain control of her life. “

The news comes on the heels of a promising upswing, during which Bynes seemed to be getting the help she needed to repair her career and public image.

The positive changes in her Bynes’ behavior began earlier this year.

In April, Bynes returned to Twitter following an extended absence from the social media site.

Shortly thereafter, she gave her first interview in four years, during which she stated that she’s “doing great,” keeping busy, and looking forward to returning to acting.

“I’ve been going to school lately, fashion school, FIDM [the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising], and I love it. I’ve learned how to sew, I make patterns, and I want to start a clothing line in the future,” Bynes said.

“Other than that,” she continued, “I hike, I go spinning, take spinning classes, and I feed the homeless, and that’s been really interesting and fun.”

Sources verified that Bynes was once again pursuing an education after taking an extended hiatus:

“She began taking classes in the fall, even though she was kicked out before for showing up high as a kite,” said one fellow student.

“She seemed upbeat and talked about returning to TV.”

Unfortunately, the return to television never took place, and insiders say it’s Bynes’ inability to find work that touched off her latest meltdown.

The 31-year-old’s comeback came around the fifth anniversary of DUI arrest that seemed to trigger an extended downward spiral for Bynes.

In the months that followed, her drug use increased, and her behavior became more erratic, a pattern that culminated in Bynes being placed on a 5150 psychiatric hold and hospitalized for several months.

Here’s hoping Amanda can somehow regain that momentum and get back on the road to recovery.


Danny Masterson: Fired by Netflix Amidst Rape Allegations

Netflix has severed all ties with Danny Masterson.

Amidst allegations, by three women, that the actor committed rape, the streaming company has finally decided to let Masterson go.

His character will be written off The Ranch.

“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch,” a Netflix spokesperson said on Tuesday morning, adding:

“Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.”

The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office have been conducting an investigation into the aforementioned allegations of rape for just under a year now.

There’s been growing pressure on Netflix to make this move ever since news broke of the scandal. 

Why did it finally do so now?

According to The Huffington Post, a Netflix executive mentioned to the mother of a girl on his daughter’s soccer team on Sunday that he did NOT believe Masterson’s accusers.

As it turned out… this mother actually was one of Masterson’s accusers.

Fast forward 48 hours – after Netflix confirmed its director of global kids content had made this “careless” and “uninformed” remark – and Netflix made the decision to part ways with the actor.

Masterson, meanwhile, maintains his innocence.

In a statement released through his lawyer, the star says the following:

I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch.

From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.

In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.

I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all.

People Magazine first published a story about the allegations surrounding Masterson in March.

According to this disturbing report, all three of Masterson’s alleged victims were members of the Church of Scientology.

They claim the sexual assaults took place in the early 2000s, yet they were pressured by church leaders to remain silent.

However, Leah Remini told The Underground Bunker that her documentary about Scientology prompted one of the women to come forward with her story.

This woman, along with a second accuser, claim Masterson had sex with them while they were either asleep or passed out.

One of the women who has charged Masterson with rape was his girlfriend at the time, prompting Masterson’s attorney to say the following in March:

“The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their 6 year relationship, after which she continued to be his longtime girlfriend.

“When Danny ended the relationship she continued to pursue him …

“In fact, we are informed by the Church that the only demand [redacted] made of the Church after Danny broke up with her was asking for their help to intervene so the breakup would not be permanent.”

For the record, Masterson will be featured in new episodes of The Ranch when they hit Netflix on December 15.

He will appear in a few installments that have already been filmed for the next season, as well, because they were shot prior to his firing.

Authorities will continue to look into the serious allegations made against him dauring this time.


Sheila Downs and Nate Duhon: Married at First Sight Couple Split Amidst Cheating Accusations

It’s all over for Sheila Downs and Nate Duhon.

The Married at First Sight couple has confirmed via social media that they are getting a divorce.

But they aren’t doing so in amicable fashion.

Having gotten married (at first sight, no less) on Season 5 of this controversial reality show, clear trouble for Downs and Duhon was afoot a few weeks ago when the former Tweeted:

“Just got a call from the woman who’s been sleeping with my husband…the same woman who he called on the honeymoon.”

She later Tweeted a follower:

“He admitted it.”

YIKES, huh?

We’d file for divorce under that circumstance if we were Sheila, too.

downs tweets

However, Duhon disputes this account.

On Sunday, he denied that his wandering penis played any role in the break-up, while also denying said penis wandered into any other woman’s vagina.

“Prior to any statements made about me, we were no longer living together and I already filed for divorce,” he wrote, adding:

“This was known to both parties, my lawyer, and the lawyer for the show.

“The reason that led me to file for divorce from Ms. Downs was thoroughly understood by all parties as well.”

duhon note

Simply put, he claims:

Infidelity was not a reason, nor did I ever admit such a thing. Thank you to those of you who have shown support throughout this tough time.

On the fifth season finale of this Lifetime series, Duhon expressed his doubts about the romance, while the newlyweds got into an explosive fight.

As you can see, not much has changed between them over time.

Sheila Downs and Nate Duhon kiss

Following Duhon’s denial, Downs tried to get the last word late on Sunday.

“I see that instead of finally operating in integrity, [Nate] chose to continue to lie,” she wrote on Instagram.

But this wasn’t all.

Buckle in for a lengthy post in her own defense…

My husband & I had problems. Yes. He was dishonest and there were women throughout our ENTIRE marriage.

Admittedly, I didn’t know how to handle that; and as you saw on the show, I handled it poorly at times.

I’m not proud of that, but I am extremely proud of the woman who acknowledges that and has made a conscious effort to change the things I didn’t like. When I got married, I meant FOREVER.

I unfortunately was the only one. If you watch the show back, my meltdown on the balcony was because Nathan said that he wanted a divorce.

That was the first of probably 40+ times.

And then came the women and the nights he would ignore my calls, block my number, engage in illicit activities, or not come home at all. On the cruise, we were intimate.

We admittedly had problems, but I was fighting for my marriage only to have a woman who had reached out to me before call me AGAIN with receipts..

Now had my husband already begun living a single life?? Absolutely!

On Twitter, meanwhile, Downs had even more to say about the situation:

It’s really pathetic how far Nate is going to try to save face.

I’m many things, but I am NOT a liar.

I stayed in my marriage BC of my COVENANT WITH GOD. Nate cried & told me he wasn’t ready & I deserved better almost a year ago.

I should’ve let him go then..& for real the worst thing you can say is that we had 4 counselors??

That is correct we went to 1 ONCE who just wasn’t a fit, 1 was a hardcore fan of the show (kinda a problem), one was nice as can be but a space cadet, & then we found the one!


We aren’t taking sides here.

And cheating is always wrong.

But we are curious how God feels about His covenant with you when it gets finalized on a reality TV show after you literally just met the man you’re marrying.

We. Are. Just. Sayin.


Jeffrey Tambor Quits Transparent Amidst Sexual Harassment Scandal

Jeffrey Tambor has dropped out of Transparent.

The Emmy Award-winning actor, who has been accused of sexual harassment by two women who worked on the Amazon series, released a statement along with his resignation that was anything, but…well…

… resigned.

Quite the opposite, in fact, as Tambor did not admit to any wrongdoing, while lashing out at the toxic environment that he says has engulfed the critically-acclaimed program.

Transparent recently wrapped up its fourth season.

“Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” Tambor said in his statement.

He added:

“What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.

“I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue.

“Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”

Among other allegations, Tambor has been accused by a transgender co-star of making lewd, sexually suggestive remarks.

This same co-star says the actor even pressed up against her in a sexual, suggestive manner.

A former assistant has also made troubling claims against the veteran star.

In a previous statement, Tambor said the following:

“I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact.

“But I have never been a predator — ever.”

In the wake of these disturbing allegations, Amazon announced it was investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, numerous individuals and groups – including Transparent writer-producer Our Lady J and GLAAD – have called for the show to continue without Tambor.

Neither creator Jill Solloway nor Amazon has commented since Tambor announced he is leaving the show.

The veteran actor has won a pair of Emmys for his portrayal of Maura, while he also brought two other iconic television characters to life:

1. Hank Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show.

2. George Bluth on Arrested Development.

Transparent now becomes the second award-winning series to face an uncertain future in the wake of its lead star being accused of sexual harassment or misconduct.

After Kevin Spacey faced on specific claim of attempted sexual assault, along with multiple allegations of creating uncomfortable working conditions on House of Cards, Netflix let the actor go.

It’s unclear just how or when the show will continue.

And the same can be said of Transparent.


Mark Halperin Placed on Leave by MSNBC Amidst Sexual Misconduct Claims

Mark Halperin, a veteran political journalist who has been accused by five women of sexual harassment, has been placed on leave by MSNBC.

The network made the announcement about 12 hours after these damaging allegations were made against Halperin, saying via statement:

“Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

On Wednesday night, shortly after news of these charges went viral, Halperin confirmed in his own statement that he had not always acted appropriately with women in the past.

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” he said in a statement to CNN, adding:

“I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain.

“For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize.

“Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”

The allegations against Halperin stem from his tenure as political director at ABC News.

While the reporter was vague about what he was owning up to, his accusers claims his propositioned them for sex… touched their breasts… and/or pressed his genitals up against them while clothed.

Halperin is maybe best known for co-authoring the bestselling book “Game Change,” which was made into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.

He has also anchored a program on Bloomberg TV and was prominently featured in Showtime’s “The Circus,” a series that chronicled the 2016 campaign cycle and the early days of the Donald Trump presidency.

Said ABC News in response to this story:

“Mark left ABC News over a decade ago, and no complaints were filed during his tenure.

These allegations come on the heels of more disturbing information also coming to light regarding Bill O’Reilly and the massive amount of money he paid to alleged sexual harassment victims in exchange for their silence.

According to a new New York Times article, O’Reilly shelled out $ 32 million in a settlement to one accuser alone.

Then, of course, there’s the case of Harvey Weinstein.

The long-time movie producer has now been accused by 54 women of having harassed or assaulted them.

The Times has reported on eight settlements he reached with his accusers, while various actresses and women who have worked in Hollywood have been coming forward with harrowing tales of interactions with Weinstein.

As a contributor to MSNBC, meanwhile, Halperin made regular appearances on Morning Joe and other news programs.

We doubt we see him back on that network again.


Terry Richardson: Controversial Photographer Blacklisted Amidst Sex Scandal

The past few weeks have brought a number of surprising allegations against some of the most influential men in Hollywood, most notably, formerly esteemed mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Just kidding, there were actually surpsised that Weinstein is a gross predator who’s been using his power to get away with all manner of despicable things pretty 

In fact, here at THG, we’ve been reporting on harassment allegations against Weinstein for years.

We say that not to pat ourselves on the back, because that would be incredibly gross, but merely to point out that anyone who’s paid attention to Weinstein’s career knows that allegations of sexual misconduct have clung to him like a bad smell.

And if they claim otherwise, they’re full of it. (We’re looking at you, Matt Damon.) 

Hollywood insiders like to throw around the term “open secret” because it’s easier than acknowleding the ugly truth of the situation:

There are certain people in Hollywood who can get away with literally anything, including harassment and rape, and everyone who’s lower than them on the totem pole will ignore it, because they hope to one day be that powerful themselves, and they know that guys like Weinstein hold the keys to the castle.

Of course, this sort of behavior isn’t limited to the movie business.

There are predators in every line of work, and many will happily abuse the smallest modicum of power.

Take, for example, famed photographer Terry Richardson.

Just when you didn’t think it was possible for anyone to be a more obvious perv than Weinstein, along comes the revoltingly-nicknamed “Uncle Terry.”

You may not be surprised by the fact that a man who’s bragged about his talent for convincing reluctant celebrities to take their clothes off has some issues with boundaries, but apparently many of his colleagues were.

Richardson is a household name in the worlds of fashion and photography, and you may know him as the director of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” video and the name is mentioned alongside avery self-consciously “artsy” black-and-white nude photo of a famous person.

Unfortunately for Richardson, it seems that in the wake of the Weinstein allegations, he’s been called out by numerous women who claim he’s guilty of various acts of harassment and abuse.

According to the New York Post, publishing powerhouse Condé Nast has already cut ties with Richardson and ordered that all work of his that’s been commissioned but not yet used should be “killed or substituted with other material.”

Other major media outlets that have used Richardson’s work in the past are expected to follow suit.

Details about the allegations against Richardson are scarce at this time, but it’s telling that none of his current or former colleagues are rushing to the photographer’s defense.

In fact, the biggest question being asked today is–why did take so long for Richardson to be called out?


Ewan McGregor Splits From Wife Amidst Rumors of Mary Elizabeth Winstead Affair

Fiction has allegedly met reality for Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Much to the chagrin of the former’s wife.

According to various reports, McGregor separated from his wife of 22 years, Eve Mavrakis, after news broke that there were photos of him making out with his former Fargo co-star.

The couple split back in May.

On Sunday morning, images of McGregor and Winstead were published in The Sun, with the scandalous snapshots depicting the actor and the actress kissing at a West London cafe.

The stars were later spotted leaving on a motorbike… together.

“They were deep in conversation and were there together for more than an hour,” a witness told the publication, adding:

“As they left she got on to the back of Ewan’s motorbike and they sped off together.”

There’s really no mistaking what’s taking place in these newspaper photos.

Some major spit is being swapped.

On Fargo Season 3, McGregor played the dual roles of twin brothers Emmit Stussy and Ray Stussy.

Winstead, considering by most to be the breakout star of the season portrayed Ray’s girlfriend, Nikki Swango.

Back in May, around the same time McGregor and Mavrakis broke up, Winstead announced on Instagram that she was leaving her husband, Riley Stearns.

No one thought too much about it at the time.

Let’s be honest after all: Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are not typically major focuses of the celebrity gossip world.

But the rumor mill is now spinning quickly due to the sordid nature of this news.

“We have spent our lives together and it has been full of joy and warmth every day,” Winstead wrote upon confirming she and her husband were going their separated ways this past spring.

She added:

“We’ve decided to move on from our marriage, but we will stay best friends and collaborators for all our days. We are still ride or die, just in a different way now.”

McGregor and Mavrakis, a production designer, met on the set of the British TV show “Kavanagh QC” in 1995 and wed later that year.

They have four children together.

Neither the actor nor the actress have commented on chatter about their romance or their failed marriages.

We’ll update this story with quotes if either side does speak out.


Christina El Moussa Dumps Doug Spedding Amidst Drug, Cheating Rumors

Let the Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa reconciliation rumors begin again in earnest.

Okay, maybe not.

But the blonde-haired HGTV star is single once again after ending her relationship with controversial boyfriend Doug Spedding.

And for good reason, too:

An insider tells In Touch Weekly that Spedding had fallen back into his old drug habit, while he was also caught cheating on El Moussa with a former lover.

As a result of his crashing off the wagon, Spedding has agreed to seek professional help.

He has entered an in-patient rehabilitation facility for addiction issues, People Magazine also confirms, with a source saying the following:

“Christina supports Doug’s decision to seek treatment and remains in contact to support his recovery.”

Acknowledging the split without fully acknowledging the split, Christina took to Instagram Tuesday night and shared this message:

“There is no shame in beginning again, for you get a chance to build bigger + better than before.”

She added via caption:

“People can impact you in different ways … the important ones enter your life for a reason a season or a lifetime #keepthefaith.”

Christina El Moussa message

El Moussa actually knew and dated Spedding many years ago, long before meeting ex-husband Tarek,

They rekindled their romance after the El Moussa filed for divorce earlier this year, but multiple flags have been popping up ever since.

There was chatter in June, for example, that Spedding had been cheating on El Moussa, as Radar Online even published an alleged text message from Doug to a woman named Tracy in which he asks if she she wants to “f-ck right now.”

It’s unclear whether or not she was in the mood to do so.

But it’s very clear this was SO not cool of Spedding.

In 2011, meanwhile, Spedding was arrested for possession of a controlled substance after being caught with methamphetamine.

He subsequently completed a diversion program.

He also has a domestic violence arrest on his record and has been accused, multiple times, of fraud at his car dealership.

So El Moussa likely made the right call here in leaving Spedding behind.

We doubt she’ll actually get back together with Tarek, but the parents of two adorable kids remain on great terms.

They continue to film Flip or Flop together and will even be teaming up to produce new shows for HGTV.

“Working with Tarek comes easy for both of us,” El Moussa has said, adding last month:

“We have worked together for 12 years and we will continue to work and co-parent together. We have a lot of fun (both on and off camera) flipping houses.”


Ben Affleck: Multiple Sexual Harassment Videos Resurface Amidst Growing Scandal

It’s hard to think of a celebrity who’s been who’s been at once so unfathomably successful and so transparently troubled as Ben Affleck.

With two Oscars, several successful turns behind the camera as director, and a lucrative multi-feature gig as one of the most iconic characters in cinema, Affleck has the kind of career most leading men can only dream of.

And yet, it’s impossible to talk about the 45-year-old without mentioning the persistent dark side that seems to have plagued him at least since young adulthood.

We’ve seen Affleck struggle with alcoholism and endure a difficult divorce that considerable damage to his public image.

He’s been accused of cheating on his wife, gambling compulsively, and indulging in fits of rage indiscriminately.

And now, Affleck may be on the verge of most sordid scandal of his career thanks to a pair of newlt resurfaced videos that show the actoe engaged in some truly unsettling behavior.

On Tuesday night, fans were stunned by allegations that Affleck groped actress Hilarie Burton during an appearance on MTV’s TRL.

Now, video of the incident has emerged, and it’s every bit as unnerving as it sounds:

Yes, at 30 years old, Ben–who was already an established star in Hollywood–took it upon himself to “tweak” the breast of a 20-year-old up and coming media personality in front of a crowd and a camera crew.

Burton laughed off the encounter in the clip above, but she tweeted last night that she “laughed to keep from crying.”

Sadly, that’s not the only example of Ben engaging in egregious misconduct with a young female journalist.

The clip below, shot in 2004, shows Ben pulling a Canadian TV host into his lap and embracing her while encouraging her to do the remainder of the show topless and asking to see more cleavage.

Needless to say, the footage is upsetting, to say the least:

At the 4:00 mark, Ben also mocks people suffering from cerebral palsy. 

The footage was shot over a decade ago, but it’s worth noting that Affleck was 33 years old at the time.

Earlier today, Ben issued an apoplogy for the Burton incident, tweeting:

“I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”

He has yet to respond to the uproar over the second clip.

We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.