BOSTAN – A woman from Massachusetts, who accused Mario Batali of kissing and groping her while trying to take a selfie at a Boston restaurant, testified on Monday that she felt confused and powerless to do anything to stop the famous chef.

During questioning by prosecutors in Batali’s sexual abuse case, the 32-year-old said he looked drunk and said words and closed his eyes when they took several joint photos at his request. The trial began on Monday after Batali – an unexpected move – waived his right to a jury trial and decided instead to have the judge decide his fate.

The woman also testified that she felt embarrassed by the 2017 incident – until she saw other women step forward to share similar meetings with Batali.

“It happened to me, and it’s my life,” the woman said when asked by prosecutors why she also decided to speak out. “I want to be able to take control of what happened, speak out, speak my peace and make everyone responsible for their actions and behavior.”


Batali’s lawyer, Anthony Fuller, argued that the attack had never taken place and that the prosecutor was not a reliable witness and had a financial incentive to lie.

He also suggested that she joked about her meeting in text messages with friends and ate at Eataly, the Italian market once owned by Batali, after the meeting.

“It’s not true,” Fuller said. “It’s made up for money and for fun.”

The prosecutor has filed a lawsuit against Batali seeking damages for “severe emotional distress,” which is still pending in Suffolk County Supreme Court in Boston.

Fuller also said the prosecutor, seeking to step down as a juror, recently pleaded guilty to lying while selecting a jury at another Massachusetts trial because she claimed she was clairvoyant.


Batali, who pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and beatings in 2019, could face up to 2 and a half years in prison and is required to register as a sex offender if convicted. He is expected to be on trial throughout the trial, which prosecutors say should last about two days.

Batali is one of a number of prominent men who in recent years have faced public violence during the #MeToo public movement against sexual violence and harassment.

Once a 61-year-old guy was a member of the Food Network on shows such as “Molto Mario” and “Iron Chef America”. But the career of a person wearing a ponytail and an orange crocodile has collapsed amid allegations of sexual abuse.

Four women accused him of inappropriate touching in 2017, after which he gave up everyday operations in his restaurant empire and left the discontinued ABC cooking show “The Chew”.


Batali apologized, admitting that the accusations “coincide” with the way he acted.

“I made a lot of mistakes and I am very sorry to have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team,” he said in an e-mail at the time. “My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility. “

Last year, Batali, his business partner and their New York restaurant company agreed to pay $ 600,000 to complete a four-year investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office into allegations that Batali, restaurant managers and other employees sexually harassed employees.

In Boston, he opened a branch of the popular Italian food platform Eataly at the Prudential Center in 2016, as well as the pizzeria Babbo e Enoteca in the city’s seaport area in 2015.


Batali has since been redeemed from its stake in Eataly, which still has dozens of locations around the world, including in Boston, and Babbo’s restaurant in the city has since closed.

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