MasterChef's Calombaris charged with assault over A-League grand final fracas

MasterChef judge George Calombaris has been charged with assault after being involved in an altercation with a teen fan at the A-League grand final on Sunday that ended with the celebrity chef being led away by police.

Police confirmed on Wednesday they had charged Calombaris, 38, with common assault after he was seen in footage shot exclusively by The World Game pushing a 19-year-old fan in the stands at Allianz Stadium.

Calombaris is expected to appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on June 29.

The incident took place at 8:49pm after Sydney FC had won the fiery clash against Melbourne Victory 4-2 on penalties.

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Calombaris, Melbourne Victory's number one ticket holder, was at the showpiece event with fellow MasterChef judge Matt Preston and chef Shannon Bennett, who also features on the Network Ten reality show.

After what was a heated match Calombaris was seen aggressively pushing a fan in the stands, as reported first by The World Game.



In a statement provided to The World Game on Wednesday Network Ten reiterated their support for the celebrity chef.

“Network Ten cannot comment in detail about an ongoing police investigation. This is a personal matter, " a Network Ten spokesmen said on Wednesday.

"George has apologised for his regrettable and out of character reaction, which was in response to highly inflammatory insults about his family.

"He is not proud of his actions, has taken responsibility for them, and has the full support of Network Ten.”

In the footage Calombaris was first seen chatting to FFA boss David Gallop as fans from the stands yelled out to him baiting the chef, who then went over and returned fire.

The TV personality made headlines last month after being found to have underpaid staff to the tune of $2.6 million, with members of the crowd also taunting him about the pay bungle.

Tensions boiled over with Calombaris seen pushing a fan, at which point police intervened.

The incident ended with Preston ushering Calombaris away.

In a statement to released to The World Game on Monday the chef and restaurateur admitted he was not proud of his actions and said he's reported the incident to Football Federation Australia and to Melbourne Victory.   

“I am really disappointed with what occurred last night. I was genuinely shocked when post-match football banter turned into personal abuse about my family, " Calombaris said.

"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.”


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3 min read
Published 10 May 2017 at 11:25am
By Angela Habashy