Batali was accused of sexual assault in 2017
“Much to many people’s dismay, I was there for him,” Hall tells PEOPLE of her relationship with her former cohost on The Chew.
In December 2017, Batali was fired from the ABC food talk show after being accused of wide-ranging sexual misconduct. The show ended six months later. In May 2022, Batali was found not guilty on charges of indecent battery and assault in Boston Municipal Court. He settled two more cases in Aug. 2022, according to The New York Times.
Hall says she was questioned in interviews and on social media at the time for standing by him.
"The problem that I had there, I was like, 'Okay, you're talking about the people that Mario seemed to have done harm to, but yet, you women are attacking me — another woman," she recalls. "So I had a little issue with that."
“But it wasn’t for me to forgive this person," Hall says. "When you read something about somebody in a newspaper, and you don't know that person, that story becomes 100 percent of what you know about that person. When you know the person, that story becomes 2 percent of what you know about the person. That's just how I live my life: judge lest you be judged."
When The Chew ended, Hall moved on to a variety of other hosting gigs including Food Network's Baking Championship shows. Her latest and first lead hosting role is Max’s new food adventure series Chasing Flavor (streaming now). On it, she travels the world to trace the roots of iconic American dishes like chicken pot pie (Jamaica) and ice cream (Italy and Turkey).
Hall, a former CPA and runway model, couldn’t do this dream gig, she explains, without all the lessons that came before. “I needed, collectively, all the different things that I was doing," she says, "to do this."
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