A chef who is a familiar face on television thanks to his popular food shows faces a charge of indecent assault and battery. CNN reports that Mario Batali is expected to be arraigned Friday in Boston Municipal Court on the criminal charge in connection with a case in which the celebrity chef is accused of groping a woman in 2017.
Batali is known for his Food Network shows including “Molto Mario,” “Mediterranean Mario” and “Ciao America with Chef Mario Batali,” along with appearances on various “Iron Chef America” programs.
As we reported in March, the celebrity chef recently gave up all of his restaurants amid sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations. He was hit with a lawsuit in connection with the Boston case back in August.
“Natali Tene’s attorneys said in a statement Thursday their client is ‘grateful that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office … has chosen to go forward in prosecuting’ Batali, and noted that the criminal charges against him are independent of Tene’s lawsuit against the celebrity chef,” CNN reports.
As we reported previously, Tene alleges in her lawsuit that after she spotted Batali in a restaurant and tried to take a photo of him, he offered to take a selfie with her and then, without asking for permission, repeatedly kissed her on the face, rubbed her breasts, grabbed her buttocks and put his hands between her legs.