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TV chef grapples with guest at top Vale hotel
7:47am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
A HOTEL in Evesham has been at the centre of a media storm this week after Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace grappled with a guest during a much-publicised event.
The Wood Norton held ‘Dinner with Gregg Wallace’ on Saturday but the evening turned sour when the TV star began scrapping with Paul Bates, a senior partner at Cotswold Style magazine based in Cheltenham.
Reports suggest the fight broke out because the businessman had acted inappropriately towards Mr Wallace’s 27-year-old girlfriend Anne- Marie Sterpini – a claim Mr Bates strongly denies.
The 48-year-old is said to have pushed Mr Bates and thrown punches. Mr Wallace said he was doing what any man would do in the situation and his girlfriend has said he was defending her.
Fans also rallied around the television chef with one guest at the £75-a-head event commenting at evesham journal.
co.uk that she had spent hours talking to Mr Wallace and asked others not to judge him if they were unaware of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Mr Bates’ business partner Mark Cuzner defended him, saying all allegations were a “total fabrication”.
He said: “He was there at an event with his daughter and this incident happened, which is very unfortunate.
Gregg reacted in an unfortunate way and later apologised for his actions.”
The two reportedly shared a whisky after the incident and the hotel has played down the fight.
Craig Webb, general manager of the hotel, which was once the home of French Royalty and was later taken over by the BBC, said: “There was a small incident that took place in the bar towards the end of the night.
However this was resolved very quickly.”
It was announced this week by spokesmen for Gregg Wallace and Bermondsey Square Hotel which is run by Bespoke Hotels - the same company that owns The Wood Norton - that Mr Wallace’s restaurant Gregg’s Bar & Grill is set to close.
West Mercia Police said it had received no complaints about the incident at Wood Norton, but inquiries into the incident were being made.
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