Acclaimed chef and former The Chew co-host Mario Batali is facing quite a bit of legal trouble once again, as the former The Chew star will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of indecent assault and battery.
According to People magazine, the assault allegations stem from a March 2017 incident in which a woman claims that Batali kissed and groped her without her consent at a Boston-area restaurant.
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“The charges, brought by the same individual without any new basis, are without merit,” Batali’s attorney Anthony Fuller told The Boston Globe, noting the woman made similar allegations in a civil lawsuit back in 2018. “He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali.”
However, if convicted, Batali faces a 2½-year sentence in jail. He also would be forced to register as a sex offender.
It’s a sad state of affairs for Batali, who was once best known for his involvement in acclaimed restaurants across the country and as a Food Network television personality.
[RELATED: Giada De Laurentiis Says She Wasn’t Shocked to Hear About Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Allegations]
“Mario never displayed those kinds of actions toward me,” former The Chew co-host Carla Hall said in an interview with Bravo last year. “It was only respect and very generous in terms of his knowledge in the industry. “I’m very sorry for the women who have had these experiences. It’s tough as a woman because I want women to feel like they are safe.”