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Names and faces

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | May 11, 2022 at 5:28 a.m.


Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

• Mario Batali was found innocent of indecent assault and battery Tuesday, following a swift trial in which the celebrity chef waived his right to have a jury decide his fate. Batali, who pleaded innocent to indecent assault and battery in 2019, had faced up to 2½ years in jail and would've been required to register as a sex offender if convicted. His accuser recounted in court how she'd been "shocked, surprised and alarmed" as the 61-year-old former Food Network personality aggressively kissed and groped her while they were taking a selfie at a Boston restaurant in 2017. The 32-year-old software company worker said she felt confused and powerless to do anything to stop Batali as he touched her without her consent. She has also filed a lawsuit that's pending in a Boston court, which Batali's attorney argued gave her a financial incentive to lie. Batali is among a number of high-profile men who have faced a public reckoning during the #MeToo movement against sexual abuse and harassment in recent years. After four women accused him of inappropriate touching in 2017, he stepped down from day-to-day operations at his restaurant empire and left the since-discontinued ABC cooking show "The Chew." Batali also apologized, acknowledging the allegations "match up" with ways he has acted. "I have made many mistakes," he said at the time. "My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility."

• Exactly a week after returning to "The Late Show" after a bout of covid-19, host Stephen Colbert is canceling the taping of more new episodes because of "a recurrence" of the highly contagious virus. A Monday tweet on the CBS show's Twitter account notified fans that the show will be extending its break. The Emmy winner himself tweeted: "WORST. SEQUEL. EVER." It's unclear whether Colbert contracted the disease anew or never fully recovered from his first bout. The news comes three days after the show's band leader -- Grammy winner Jon Batiste -- announced that he'd contracted the virus, bowing out of the show as well as the premiere of his "American Symphony" production at Carnegie Hall in New York. Just last week, ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" host tapped comedian Mike Birbiglia to guest-host while he was out with the infection too. In response, Colbert's social media staff called on President Joe Biden "to open America's strategic Jimmy reserve" and offered a number of famous Jimmys to fill in for Kimmel and CBS' outgoing "Late Late Show" host, James Corden.


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