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Mario Batali Sued By Woman Who He Allegedly Groped

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Natali Tene alleges that the chef touched her in a Boston bar last spring

Mario Batali
Mario Batali
Photo by Daniel Krieger

A woman who claims Batali groped her in Boston bar when she took selfies with the disgraced chef has filed suit against him in Massachusetts superior court.

Natali Tene, 28, whose story was featured in an Eater New York investigation, is suing Batali for assault and battery and is seeking damages for emotional distress over the alleged assault, saying the incident was “dehumanizing,” according the suit.

According to her lawyer Eric Baum, Tene filed a report with the Boston police department on June 22 and was told that they are investigating the incident. Boston police did not immediately return multiple requests for comment. Update: BPD now confirms that it is investigating the incident.

As Eater reported earlier this year, Tene was then a fan of Batali’s and approached him in April 2017 for a photo. She alleges that the chef then rubbed her body and breasts, grabbed her backside, and touched between her legs after she approached him at a bar. After allegations of wider sexual misconduct against Batali came out in December 2017, she decided to speak out.

“I was just in total disbelief when he touched me like that; I couldn’t believe it when it was happening,” Tene told Eater in May. “In the moment it was just so crazy, it was humiliating. The more I thought about it later, the angrier I got.”

Batali, who’s faced allegations of sexual misconduct by numerous women, is currently under investigation by the NYPD for sexual assault claims. The New York state’s attorney has also issued a subpoena to the Spotted Pig in an attempt to get video footage of Batali’s alleged assault in the so-called “rape room” on the third floor. A spokesperson for Batali did not immediately return a request for comment.

In a statement to Eater, Tene’s lawyer said: “What Natali went through was a nightmare. Nobody should ever be subjected to this type of conduct. As a fan of Mario Batali, all she wanted to do was innocently take a picture with him. Without warning, he then sexually assaulted her. Mario Batali’s actions were humiliating and degrading. This lawsuit shines a light on a serious, frequently occurring issue that must be addressed and stopped.”