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Jury selection starts next week for former celebrity chef accused of sexually attacking woman at the Pru in 2017

Mario Batali, who used to come up to Boston to promote his Eataly food court at the Prudential Center, returns to Boston next week for jury selection for his trial on a charge of indecent assault and battery for an incident involving a fan at a now closed bar next to Eataly back in 2017.

Jury selection starts Monday in Boston Municipal Court, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

A Boston resident who says she grew up watching and adoring Batali reported she couldn't believe Batali was sitting down the bar from her at Towne and that when he noticed she was snapping his photo on her phone, he suggested they take some selfies - but that when they got close, he allegedly began kissing her, rubbing her breasts and grabbing her crotch.

Batali denies the allegations; his lawyers say the woman might have had a financial motive to make the claim.

In the aftermath of the allegations, and other allegations in New York, the company that owns Eataly stripped Batali's name from it.

Innocent, etc.

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