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Mario Batali’s latest hearing in indecent assault, battery case proceeds

The latest hearing in the indecent assault and battery case against disgraced celebrity chef Mario Batali is scheduled to happen today in Boston Municipal Court.

Batali, 58, is not required to attend.

In May, the former co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” pleaded not guilty to a charge that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in March 2017.

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Celebrity chef Mario Batali departs a municpal court in Boston in May 2019, after pleading not guilty to allegations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017. (AP)

The alleged attack took place at the Towne Stove and Spirits restaurant, when his accuser claimed she recognized Batali eating at the bar and attempted to take a photo. According to the woman, Batali beckoned her over and later tried to kiss her, while grabbing her chest and touching her groin, The Boston Globe reported.

In a statement to Fox News, Batali’s lawyer denied the assault charges and said they were “without merit.”

The ponytail-sporting, croc-wearing chef has fallen from public grace in the wake of the accusations and other allegations of sexual misconduct in the heat of the #MeToo movement.

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Backlash to the news ultimately forced Batali to step away from his New York-based restaurant empire and caused the cancellation of “This Chew,” reported the New York Post.

On Aug. 17, Italian supermarket and eatery Eataly officially severed ties with the celebrity chef, buying out his minority stake in the business, a spokesperson said.

A rep for Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said the Friday hearing will address legal motions.

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Fox News’ Michael Bartiromo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

SOURCE : https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/mario-batali-hearing-incident-assault-case

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