Mario Batali has been charged with indecent assault and battery based on an accusation that he groped and kissed a woman in a restaurant in Boston in 2017. The celebrity chef is scheduled to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Friday, the office’s criminal case division tells TheWrap.
Batali’s accuser’s name, in this case, was redacted from court documents, but the account described matches one made by a Massachusetts woman who filed a civil lawsuit against Batali in August 2018, according to the Boston Globe.
“Mr. Batali denies the allegations in both this criminal complaint and the civil complaint filed last August,” Anthony Fuller, an attorney for Batali, said in a statement to TheWrap on Thursday. “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.”
Also Read: Mario Batali and Restaurant The Spotted Pig Under Investigation for Sexual Harassment
The Boston Police Department did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Batali was publicly accused of sexual misconduct by four women in an Eater article published in December 2017. The chef said in a statement at the time, “Much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses.”
In May 2018, following a “60 Minutes” report on Batali, the New York Police Department opened a criminal investigation into the accusations made against him.
Since the accusations first arose, Batali was fired from ABC’s “The Chew” (which was subsequently canceled) and bought out of his hospitality company by his former business partners.