9:44 AM PDT, May 11, 2022
Batali had waived his right to a jury trial, leading to a two-day bench trial that culminated with Judge James Stanton’s not guilty verdict.
Stanton said that Batali’s accuser, Natali Tene, had “credibility problems highlighted in her sworn testimony,” though noted that Batali “did not cover himself in glory on the night in question.”
“His conduct, his appearance and his demeanor were not befitting of a public person of his stature at that time,” Stanton continued.
After the verdict, Batali turned to his lawyer at his defense table and kissed her on the cheek. He left the courtroom looking relieved.
It was a different story on Tuesday, as Batali watched the assistant district attorney play a slideshow of 10 selfies Batali and Tene posed for the night the alleged incident took place.
“Mario Batali is grabbing my face, kissing me on the side of the face. His other hand that can’t be seen is touching my body in sensitive areas,” Tene said.