Entertainment

Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Expected To Be Arraigned For Alleged Assault

(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is reportedly set to be arraigned Friday in Boston court for charges of indecent assault and battery.

The charges come from an incident that allegedly took place March 31, 2017 at a Back Bay restaurant, according to a report published Thursday by NBC News Boston. Prosecutors on the case did not name a victim or detail the complaint.

A lawsuit was filed against the celebrity chef in August by Natali Tene of Massachusetts. It alleges Batali assaulted Tene after she asked him to take a selfie with her. The lawsuit precedes the first public allegations of misconduct against Batali. In December of 2017, Eater published an extensive investigation in which four women came forward to accuse the famous chef of sexual misconduct. Eater followed up with another investigation that told the stories of seven more women who accused Batali of sexual assault in 2018. (RELATED: Multiple Women Accusing Mario Batali Of Sexual Assault Come Forward With Their Stories)

The lawsuit stated Batali “grabbed and kissed Ms. Tene’s face, rubbed her breasts, grabbed her buttocks, put his hands between her legs and groped her groin area, and kept forcefully squeezing her face into his as he kissed her repeatedly.”

Batali’s attorney Anthony Fuller says the criminal charge and the civil lawsuit were alleged by the same person.

“Mr. Batali denies the allegations in both this criminal complaint and the civil complaint filed last August,” Fuller said in a new statement. “The charges, brought by the same individual without any new basis, are without merit. He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali.”

Batali is most known for his spots on “The Chew” and “Iron Chef America.” After being accused of sexual misconduct, Batali’s partners officially dissolved him from the restaurants he co-owned. The celebrity chef partnered in restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Boston, Singapore, Westport and New Haven.