The woman who claims Mario Batali forcibly groped and kissed her at a Boston restaurant in 2017 said Thursday that Batali “must be held accountable” for “his despicable acts.”
Lawyers for Natali Tene – who previously filed a civil lawsuit against Batali last year for the allegations – said in a statement Thursday to The Post that Tene is “grateful” that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office has decided to move forward with a criminal case.
“Mario Batali abused his celebrity status and enticed Natali to take a ‘selfie’ photograph with him in a Boston restaurant,” Tene’s attorney’s Eric Baum and Matthew Fogelman said. “While taking the photograph, Mario Batali groped her breasts, buttocks, genitals, and kissed her repeatedly without her consent.”
The lawyers noted that the criminal charges brought against Batali are independent of Tene’s ongoing civil lawsuit, which was brought against the chef back in August.
His accuser claimed that Batali forcibly kissed her, grabbed her chest and touched her groin after he noticed her taking a photo of him at the restaurant.
“Mr. Batali must be held accountable criminal and civilly for his despicable acts,” the attorneys said in the statement.
Batali will be arraigned Friday morning in Boston Municipal Court on charges of indecent assault and battery stemming from the incident, which allegedly occurred at an eatery in Back Bay.
If convicted, the famed 58-year-old chef could face up to five years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender.
Batali has denied the allegations through his lawyer.
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