MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris has been handed a $1,000 fine after previously pleading guilty to assaulting a teen at the A-League Grand Final in May.
Calombaris appeared in Downing Centre Local Court this morning to hear his sentence read over the incident at the Sydney Football Stadium in which he punched a 19-year-old fan, footage of which was widely circulated in the days immediately following.
Previously, the court had heard how Calombaris approached the 19-year-old and exchanged heated words after the conclusion of the Grand Final between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC on May 7.
Lawyers for Calombaris insisted the reality TV chef believed the young fan had called George’s mother a “cunt.” The court heard that Calombaris then approached the 19-year-old and shouted “you’re a big-mouthed man you dodgy cunt” before throwing a punch that landed on the victim’s abdomen. Calombaris pleaded guilty to a count of common assault in August.
Magistrate Peter Miszalski, despite admitting he was a previous fan of MasterChef and particularly enjoyed moments where chefs caramalised onions which is an extremely weird thing to say, nonetheless chided Calombaris for getting sucked into the altercation and reacting in such an unmeasured way, calling the incident a “very definite public display of aggression.“It’s not as though somebody’s come up to him and got into his face and started abusing him, he’s actually made his way into the crowd and started to mouth off in no uncertain words.
Mr Calombaris is a high-profile figure in the sense that I watched those original programs a long time ago. To see a man like this come before the court is tragic. The situation of getting sucked into the drama, that’s my expression, then to go in and deliberately punch someone, calls for some element of deterrence.
When the punch landed, that victim’s gone backwards. I’m sending a message out to the community that if you’re in the public arena and if you’re punching people and hurting people, there will be consequences.
Calombaris stepped down from his role as Melbourne Victory’s number one ticket holder after the incident, and self-imposed a twelve month ban from attending A-League games.