Masterchef judge George Calombaris has been fined $1,000 for assaulting a teenager at the A-league grand final in Sydney.
In handing down his conviction at Sydney Downing Centre Local Court on Friday, Magistrate Peter Miszalski described it as a “tragedy” that a prominent personality like Calombaris had been “sucked into the drama” and deliberately punched someone, News Corp reports.
The 38-year-old television personality was charged with assault in May after he was caught on camera punching a 19-year-old Sydney FC fan in the stomach at the Allianz Stadium.
During his trial, the court heard that Calombaris called the teen a “big-mouth man” and a “dodgy c***” before punching him in the abdomen, according to Seven News.
WireImage Celebrity chef George Calombaris at Downing Centre Local Court.
In August, Calombaris pleaded guilty to the assault and announced that he is banning himself from all A-League games for a year and giving up his Number 1 ticket holder status with the Melbourne Victory.
It has been a year of controversy for Calombaris.
Last month, the celebrity chef’s restaurant empire, Made Entitlement, announced underpaid staff may have to wait for up to a year for missing wages and entitlements — a decision which has reignited the anger of former workers.
In April, the company self-reported to the Fair Work Ombudsman for underpaying 162 of its staff a total of $2.6 million over six years at restaurants including The Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic.
It is this payroll bungle which appears to have set off the A-league row.
In footage captured by fans at the match, one fan can be heard shouting at Calombaris, “Pay your staff you dodgy bastard”.
It is not clear whether this was the fan whom Calombaris assaulted.
Calombaris apologised in a statement released by Channel Ten following the stoush, claiming that the teen and others were shouting abuse targeting his family.
“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,” the celebrity chef said in the statement.
The victim of the punching attack spoke out after the incident, claiming that Calombaris’ behaviour was “unnecessary and erratic”.
“He was yelling at me, ‘Come on the field, come on the field’. I’m not an idiot, I’m not going to go on the field,” he said of the heated exchange between the pair.
“He came over, because I didn’t come on the field. You can see on the video, I start to move back and then I just got hit in the stomach. I couldn’t believe it really.”
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