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Gregg Wallace grappled with guest at evening in Evesham
MASTERCHEF judge Gregg Wallace ended up grappling with a guest during an evening he was hosting at a luxury hotel in Evesham.
The Wood Norton hotel held Dinner with Gregg Wallace on Saturday night but the evening turned sour when the TV star began scrapping with guest Paul Bates.
Mr Wallace is said to have pushed Mr Bates, a senior partner at Cotswold Style magazine, across the bar in the grade 2 listed building causing him to fall onto a table.
And a picture in The Sun showed the white-shirted judge grappling with him while another man tries to restrain him as other guests look on.
Media reports suggest the former green grocer from Peckham believed Mr Bates had pinched the bottom of his 27-year-old girlfriend Anne-Marie Sterpini - a claim Mr Bates strongly denies.
Mark Cuzner, who is the business partner of Mr Bates, said: “He was there at an event with his daughter and this incident happened, which is very unfortunate.
“Gregg has apologised to him and they moved on.”
He added: “Gregg reacted in an unfortunate way and later apologised for his actions. They had a drink afterwards. He (Mr Bates) is absolutely fine. He wants to put it behind him. He has no injuries. It was more of a grapple.”
Speaking of media reports about the alleged bottom pinch
Mr Cuzner said: “That is not true. It is a total fabrication.”
Initial reports of the fight suggested Wallace had punched
Mr Bates in the face a number of times but those at the event, which cost guests £75 a head, have played down the incident.
Craig Webb, general manager of the hotel, which was the last home in England of Prince Philippe, Duke of Orleans, and later became an emergency broadcasting and listening centre for the BBC, said: “It was a good evening, where we had a full restaurant with everybody enjoying our five-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.”
Guests from Worcestershire showed their support for Mr Wallace on social media website.
Victoria Cronin, of Croome, attended the event with her partner and parents but left before the incident took place.
Speaking to your Worcester News she said: “The staff at The Wood Norton were exceptional on the evening. The whole experience was unforgettable and it was a privilege to have been there.
“Gregg Wallace revealed he was not paid to attend the event and he was there to enjoy the evening along with the other guests. He participated with answering questions and enjoying some friendly banter during the meal.”
The 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.
A spokesman for Mr Wallace confirmed he had been involved in a disagreement.
West Mercia Police said it had received no reports of the incident.
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