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George Calombaris reveals why he punched football fan after grand final

8 September 2017 5:50 AM
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George Calombaris reveals why he punched football fan after grand final

EXPLOSIVE details of MasterChef judge George Calombaris’ assault of a Sydney FC fan at the A-League grand final were revealed in court today.

Papers tendered to Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court revealed the MasterChef judge replied in kind yelling at the 19-year-old football fan: “You are big mouth-man, you dodgy c**t.”

Reading from the facts, Magistrate David Price told the court Calombaris then “approached the young man and punched him in the lower abdomen with his right fist, in public”.

As he was led away from the crowd by police, the chef “told police he believed the man had called his mother a c**t”.

Magistrate Price ordered a pre-sentence report be prepared, telling the court: “There is need to take assaults in public very seriously, it would give potentially one other sentencing option.”

Outside court, the MasterChef judge apologised profusely once again for his actions and said he was banning himself for 12 months from all A-League matches and relinquishing his No.1 ticket holder status with the Melbourne Victory.

Earlier this year he pleaded guilty to the common assault charge after he shoved a Sydney FC fan following a spat on the sideline at the A-League grand final in May.

The court was shown video footage of the events which occurred shortly after the final.

In it Calombaris can be seen angrily gesticulating at a fan and waving his Melbourne Victory scarf at the crowd before becoming involved in a scuffle with a shocked fan with police escorting him away.

The celebrity chef, 38, was supporting Victory, which lost the final in a penalty shootout at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

Shortly after the incident Calombaris issued a statement to News Corp saying he was not proud of his actions at the game.

“I was genuinely shocked when post-match football banter turned into personal abuse about my family.

“I regret the way in which I reacted, I am disappointed that I let it get to me, and I sincerely apologise for offending anyone.

“While I am not proud of my reaction to the situation, I was offended by a spectator yelling out abusive and derogatory comments about my family.

“I have spoken to Melbourne Victory FC and Football Federation Australia today to report the situation and I’m truly sorry that this has happened.”

In footage captured of the incident, fans could be heard yelling at police to remove the chef from the stadium.

It has been a turbulent year for the celebrity chef, who has also been embroiled in pay dispute with workers after three of restaurants — The Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic — were allegedly underpaid to the tune of $2.6 million.

Establishment, the company which runs the restaurants, referred itself to the Fair Work Ombudsman in April after the revelations came to light that 162 staff were underpaid.

Calombaris tried to reassure staff they would get their money, writing a letter to apologise for the management error, assuring the employees the company would make things right.

“You, our amazing team, are the key to our success. I am so sorry we have messed up and let you down on a fundamental issue,” he said at the time.

“I am devastated by what has happened and we have been working extremely hard to fix this. I want to be clear that getting it right means ensuring that every single one of our team members is paid what they are entitled to under the industry award, and that any outstanding money owed to staff is rectified as our highest priority.”

Some former staff on Wednesday said they still had not received all their wages and may be forced to wait until June 2018 to get their money, Fairfax reported.

“The FWO has encouraged Made to finalise the remaining assessments as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for the regulator said in a statement.

“While we appreciate that large scale reconciliations can take considerable time and resources, we do not believe it is reasonable for former employees to have to wait this long to receive wages owed to them.”

Calombaris will reappear before the Downing Centre Local Court in October.

Also read: Man drove car at pedestrians in Canberra shopping precinct overnight

Source: news.com.au

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