Entertainment

Celebrity chef Mario Batali facing assault charge in Boston

Celebrity chef Mario Batali facing assault charge in Boston

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is facing a criminal charge on allegations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017.

Batali, who recently gave up financial stakes in all his restaurants, is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow on a charge of indecent assault and battery.

It's the first criminal charge against Batali resulting from several sexual harassment and assault allegations that crippled his career amid the #MeToo movement.

The Boston Globe reports a criminal complaint filed last month says the woman told police that Batali noticed her taking a picture of him at the restaurant and offered to take a selfie with her.

The woman says Batali then grabbed her chest, kissed her face and touched her groin without her consent.

The details in the complaint mirror those in a civil lawsuit filed against Batali in August.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for "severe emotional distress" including anxiety and self-doubt.

A lawyer for Batali said the chef denies the allegations.