Natali Tene, 28, who accused Mario Batali of sexual assault earlier this year, filed a lawsuit against the chef in the Suffolk Superior Court of Massachusetts on Wednesday. The alleged assault reportedly took place at a Boston bar in April 2017. Tene claims that after taking a selfie with Batali, he began kissing and groping her without her consent. Natali is seeking damages for emotional distress as a result of sexual assault.
Tene's allegations were first reported by Eater in May. The publication then quoted a statement from her lawyers following the legal filing saying, “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." The Boston Police Department has confirmed that they are investigating the alleged incident.
Natali is one of several women who have accused Batali of sexual misconduct. In December, after many of the women's accounts were published, Batali was fired from NBC and retreated from his day-to-day role at Batali & Bastianich Hospitality. In May, the NYPD opened an investigation into Batali for allegedly sexually assaulting two women, one of which reportedly took place at NYC bar The Spotted Pig, which is owned by the hospitality group. The NYPD has subpoenaed the bar for video footage of Batali's alleged sexual assault in the establishment.