Mario Batali Sued and Under Criminal Investigation in Boston for Alleged Groping
Natali Tene filed a complaint against the chef on June 22 for allegedly groping her in a Boston bar last year.
On Thursday, Eater reported the disgraced chef is under criminal investigation by the Boston Police Department after 28-year-old Natali Tene filed a complaint against him on June 22 for allegedly groping her in a Boston bar last year. Tene is also suing Batali in Massachusetts superior court for assault and battery and seeking damages for “emotional distress” and humiliation, according to the suit obtained by PEOPLE.
The news of several accusations against Batali first surfaced last December when four women came forward alleged encounters they’d had with the celebrity chef, 57, where he inappropriately touched them. In May, several more women, including Tene, came forward sharing their own experiences.
Tene told Eater in May that Batali groped her in April 2017, alleging he “suggested they take selfies together, then rubbed her breasts, grabbed her backside, put his hands between her legs, and kept squeezing her face into his as he kissed her.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Tene’s lawyers Eric Baum and Matthew Fogelman said: “Mario Batali’s actions were cruel and dehumanizing, and he has shown absolutely no remorse for his conduct. Natali has come forward, not only to redress the direct harm that she endured, but also to bring light to a widespread and prevalent issue. Anyone who is the victim of sexual abuse should hold their head up high, recognize that they are not alone, and know that there are people who can help them.”
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Representatives for Batali did not respond to comment about the new lawsuit, but in a statement he released in May he said: “I vehemently deny any allegations of sexual assault. My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions. I am not attempting a professional comeback. My only focus is finding a personal path forward where I can continue in my charitable endeavors – helping the underprivileged and those in need.”