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Masterchef star brawls at event in Evesham
A HOTEL in Evesham where Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace allegedly punched a man in the face have said the incident was just a minor part of an otherwise good evening.
On Saturday night the Wood Norton Hotel near Evesham hosted Dinner with Gregg Wallace but the evening descended into a scrap when a guest allegedly groped the former greengrocer and rugby players 27-year-old girlfriend.
Craig Webb, general manager of the hotel, played down the incident saying: “It was a good evening, where we had a full restaurant with everybody enjoying our 5 course menu.
"There was a small incident that took place in the bar towards the end of the night. However this was resolved very quickly, and the people involved made-up, and enjoyed a drink together afterwards.”
Wallace, 48, is reported to have punched the man several times because he apparently pinched the bottom of his 27-year-old girlfriend Anne-Marie Sterpini.
The hotel's website described Wallace as the ‘bald one who likes puddings’ and promised guests a champagne reception followed by a five-course dinner for £75 a head.
But the evening turned sour when the fight broke out.
A picture in The Sun showed white-shirted Wallace grappling with the man while another man tries to restrain him as other guests look on.
A source told the Daily Mail: “The vast majority of those present were very drunk. I'm pretty sure Gregg had enjoyed a few drinks too.
“In fact, his girlfriend was one of the only people there who seemed sober. Gregg took exception to this man who was supposed to have been touching his girlfriend up.
“A table was knocked over as they grappled.”
The newspaper reported that three-times married Wallace and the man later calmed down, apologised to each other and shared a whisky.
His spokesman told the Mail: “I can confirm Gregg was involved in a disagreement at an event last night.
“The situation was swiftly resolved.”
The alleged incident comes months after Wallace predicted his career would end if fans knew he had ‘clumped’ some of the people who were rude to him. He later retracted the comment.
In March, he told the Radio Times: ”The only downside to my job is lack of privacy. I'm glad we became well-known in our 40s.
“We're household names but not big movie stars. I'm a south-east London blue-collar boy, so sometimes people are rude, thinking I won't react because I'm on television.
“My natural inclination is to clump them - and I have. If that was known I'd be arrested and it would end my career.”
He told the magazine: “OK, I haven't done it. But here's a plea: could viewers stop sending me pictures of their dinner on Twitter - I get about 30 a day.”
Wallace separated from his third wife Heidi - a young teacher who had contacted him on Twitter to ask him a question about celery - last year after 18 months.
He had been married twice previously and admitting cheating on his second wife, Denise - the mother of his two children - with other women.
In his autobiography, Life On A Plate, Peckham-born Wallace revealed how he was sexually abused by the husband of his childminder when he was a boy.
His mother later left to live with a man who Wallace was to discover was his real father.
He has told how he has been seeing a therapist about several issues, including his marriage break-up, workaholism and being unhappy despite amassing a small fortune through his grocery business, restaurant and TV appearances.
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