BOSTON (AP) — Celebrity cook Mario Batali’s pandemic-delayed proceedings connected intersexual misconduct allegations opens Monday successful Boston.
Batali pleaded not blameworthy to a complaint of indecent battle and battery successful 2019, stemming from accusations that helium forcibly kissed and groped a pistillate aft taking a selfie with her astatine a Boston edifice successful 2017. The pistillate says Batali noticed her photographing him and invited her to instrumentality 1 together, past touched and kissed her repeatedly without her consent.
If convicted, Batali could look up to 2 1/2 years successful jailhouse and beryllium required to registry arsenic a enactment offender. He’s expected to beryllium successful tribunal passim the proceedings, which should past astir 2 days erstwhile assemblage enactment is complete, said Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden’s office.
Lawyers for Batali didn’t remark up of the commencement of assemblage enactment Monday successful Boston Municipal Court. The chef’s lawyers person antecedently said the complaint is without merit.
His accuser has besides filed a civilian suit against Batali seeking unspecified damages for “severe affectional distress” that’s inactive pending successful Suffolk County Superior Court successful Boston. Her lawyer didn’t respond to emails Friday.
Batali is among a fig of high-profile men who person faced a nationalist reckoning during the #MeToo societal question against intersexual maltreatment and harassment successful caller years.
The 61-year-old was erstwhile a Food Network fixture connected shows similar “Molto Mario” and “Iron Chef America.” But the ponytail- and orangish Croc-wearing personality’s high-flying vocation crumbled amid intersexual misconduct allegations.
Four women accused him of inappropriate touching successful 2017, aft which helium stepped down from day-to-day operations astatine his edifice empire and near the since-discontinued ABC cooking amusement “The Chew.”
Batali has offered an apology, acknowledging the allegations “match up” with ways helium has acted.
“I person made galore mistakes and I americium truthful precise atrocious that I person disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team,” helium said successful an email newsletter astatine the time. “My behaviour was incorrect and determination are nary excuses. I instrumentality afloat responsibility.”
Last year, Batali, his concern spouse and their New York City edifice institution agreed to pay $600,000 to resoluteness a four-year probe by the New York lawyer general’s bureau into allegations that Batali, edifice managers and different workers sexually harassed employees.
In Boston, helium opened a subdivision of the fashionable Italian nutrient marketplace Eataly successful the downtown Prudential Center successful 2016 arsenic good arsenic a Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca successful the city’s Seaport District successful 2015.
Batali has since been bought retired of his involvement successful Eataly, which inactive has dozens of locations worldwide including successful Boston, and the Babbo edifice successful the metropolis has since closed.