Melbourne chef and MasterChef judge George Calombaris has pleaded guilty to assaulting a teenage soccer fan at the end of the A-League grand final in Sydney last May.
Calmobaris was not present when his plea was entered at Downing Centre Local Court this morning, according to AAP.
Police served Calombaris, 38, with a court attendance notice following the incident involving a 19-year-old man on May 7 at Allianz Stadium.
The celebrity chef allegedly pushed a Sydney fan in the chest following Sydney’s 4-2 victory over Melbourne Victory, where he is the club’s number one ticket holder.
Footage of the incident features someone in the crowd shouting “pay your staff you dodgy bastard”. After being hugged on field by a woman, Calombaris heads over to fans and begins arguing with them.
Calombaris was on the field after the game with fellow Masterchef judge Matt Preston and chef Shannon Bennett, reportedly talking to FFA boss David Gallop before the confrontation occurred. He left the field and approached the man he believed responsible in the stands.
Calombaris apologised the following day, claiming the sledging included personal abuse of his 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,” he said
“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 regret the way in which I reacted, I am disappointed that I let it get to me, and I sincerely apologise for offending anyone.”
The incident occurred just weeks after Melbourne restaurant group Made Establishment, where Calmobaris is a director, paid $2.6 million in backpay to 162 of its 430 staff after an external audit revealed they had been incorrectly paid.
The chef is due to open a series of Greek street food restaurants in Sydney over the next few months under his Jimmy Grants brand, which already has several outlets in Melbourne and Queensland.
The first two locations are in Newtown in September and Sydney Central Plaza in October, with more to come in 2018, including Surry Hills.
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