A woman has claimed that celebrity chef Mario Batali groped her and forcibly kissed her in 2017 at a Boston restaurant, and she wants him held accountable. This was the first of many sexual harassment and assault allegations waged against Batali. In addition to this accusation, Batali has also been accused of drugging, raping, and assaulting multiple women.
A report from Newsweek claimed, “Batali was accused of inappropriately touching four women on separate occasions in December 2017. Three of the women reportedly worked at one of Batali’s New York restaurants when he allegedly groped them. Their claims resulted in nearly three dozen more former and current Batali employees coming forward with accusations of sexual misconduct and discrimination.”
In this case, Batali used his celebrity power to coax the woman into taking a selfie with him. According to a report by AP news ,“‘While taking the photograph, Mario Batali groped her breasts, buttocks, and genitals, and kissed her repeatedly without her consent,’ the attorneys said.”
A Lawyer representing Batali claims that these charges are without merit. In an interview with Boston Globe, he also stated the Batali “…intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali.”
This is not the first time that the chef is has dealt with civil litigation but this the first time he would be facing actual criminal charges. Batali will be facing charge of indecent assault and battery.
The Boston Globe reports if he is convicted, Batali could face up to 2 ½ years in jail and will have to be registered as sex offender.
AP News also reported that Attorneys Eric Baum and Matthew Fogelman believe that the celebrity chef should be held accountable for his “despicable acts.”
Mario Batali will be facing court on Friday.