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Chef Mario Batali pleads not guilty to assault charge
BOSTON -- Celebrity chef Mario Batali, whose career crumbled amid several sexual misconduct accusations, pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017. Batali, 58, wearing his signature red ponytail and a blazer, did not speak during the brief hearing but nodded as the judge ordered him to stay away from the woman.