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George Calombaris has assault conviction overturned on appeal

The celebrity chef punched a 19-year-old man after a heated exchange at the 2017 A-League grand final in Sydney.

George Calombaris has won his appeal against a conviction for assaulting a teenage soccer fan at the 2017 A-League grand final in Sydney.
Calombaris, 39, was at the sporting match between the Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at Moore Park on May 7 last year when he exchanged words with a 19-year-old fan and punched him in the abdomen.
A lawyer for the celebrity chef said he believed the victim had first called his mother an offensive word.
"You don't call anyone's mother that word, regardless of whether you know them or not," Calombaris said.
"I should have walked up to him and said 'That's not nice. Do you know my mother?' And I didn't do that."
He added: "What I did was wrong, unacceptable. And I apologised the next day."
Calombaris said he lost $750,000 in endorsements after Bulla Dairy and ULR Land Rover severed ties with him following the incident.
However, he said the emotional impact was greater than the financial consequences.
Judge Andrew Scotting agreed that the restaurateur had suffered significant financial and personal loss and was unlikely to reoffend. He dismissed the charge and issued a 12-month good behaviour bond.
George Calombaris has won his appeal against a conviction for assaulting a teenage soccer fan.
Speaking outside court after having his criminal record wiped clean, Calombaris apologise to those involved. He also thanked his family, friends and staff for their continued support.
"I still remain deeply remorseful for my actions. As I previously stated, I sincerely apologise to everyone involved. The NSW police who spent lots of time dealing with this matter. And I always want to reiterate my apologies to Melbourne Victory Football Club, Football Federation Australia for any impact of my actions and on the reputation of the sport that I absolutely love. I will continue my self-imposed ban of attending all football games here in Australia," he said.
"I would like to thank my family, my friends, my incredible staff that are loyal to me, the 700 of them. Everyone who has played a massive role in supporting me, and caring for me during this what has been a tough last seven months. The process has given me significant cause for self reflection and I know that as a result, I am definitely a better person for it. And hopefully a role model for people out there."
WATCH: A portion of the altercation was captured on film. Post continues...
In a statement released after the incident, Calombaris apologised for his actions and said "I am really disappointed with what occurred last night."
He also claimed his anger was in response to other (inaudible) personal comments.
"I was genuinely shocked when post-match football banter turned into personal abuse about my family," the statement read. "I regret the way in which I reacted, I am disappointed that I let it get to me, and I sincerely apologise for offending anyone. While I am not proud of my reaction to the situation, I was offended by a spectator yelling out abusive and derogatory comments about my family."
Masterchef's Matt Preston spoke out about his friend and former colleague, shortly after the assault charge made headlines.
Preston was with Calombaris when the incident happened and was the one to escort him away after shoving a fan who'd allegedly been taunting him at the A-League grand final.
Speaking to Nova, he said: "I think George has been very open - you don't behave like that, you can't do that."