Australia

MasterChef Australia judge charged with assault

A still image from a video showing Australian celebrity chef George Calombaris pointing his finger at football fans in Sydney Image copyright sbs.com.au/theworldgame
Image caption Celebrity chef George Calombaris has apologised for the incident

An Australian celebrity chef has been charged with assault after he allegedly shoved a young football fan in Sydney.

Video captured MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris being heckled by spectators during the A-League grand final on Sunday.

The chef was seen pointing his finger at the crowd before allegedly pushing a 19-year-old man in the chest.

Mr Calombaris has apologised for the incident, which he said was prompted by abusive comments about his family.

The TV personality's restaurant group recently admitted it had underpaid staff a total of at least A$2.6m (£1.6m; $2m).

A man in the football crowd had reportedly yelled "pay your staff" to Mr Calombaris before the incident on Sunday.

Image copyright MAdE Establishment
Image caption Mr Calombaris has gained fame for his role on MasterChef Australia
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sydney FC players celebrate winning the A-League grand final

Mr Calombaris - a prominent fan of the losing side, Melbourne Victory - apologised on Monday.

"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," he said.

"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."

Network Ten, the television station which airs MasterChef Australia, said it would support Mr Calombaris.

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

News South Wales Police confirmed a 38-year-old man had been charged with common assault.

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