Gregg Wallace's girlfriend: Magazine boss touched me
Gregg Wallace's girlfriend Anne-Marie Stirpini claims she was "touched" by magazine boss Paul Bates and that the 'Masterchef' host was merely "protecting" her when he punched him
Gregg Wallace's girlfriend has shot to his defence, insisting she was groped by the man he punched.
Anne-Marie Stirpini claims magazine boss Paul Bates made "inappropriate comments" to her before touching her while she chatted to him at a 'Dinner with Gregg Wallace' event at the Wood Norton Hotel in Evesham, Worcestershire, south west England, which provoked the 'Masterchef' host to hit him.
She said: "I was so shocked I had to fight back just bursting into tears. After the event Gregg and I were having a drink in the bar with some of the guests.
"I got chatting to Mr. Bates and then out of nowhere he started making inappropriate comments about my figure. And then he touched me.
"I was completely shocked. I couldn't believe what had happened. I just didn't know what to do."
The 27-year-old blonde insists Gregg was simply "protecting" her following Paul's actions.
She added to The Sun newspaper: "Gregg saw that I was close to tears and asked me what had happened. I told him and he reacted by shouting at the man which then led to the fight.
"He was protecting me."
Gregg has insisted he "did what any bloke would do" by hitting Paul - who owns Cotswold Style Magazine in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, south west England - for being "disrespectful" to his girlfriend.
He explained: "This guy touched Anne-Marie's bum and made some inappropriate comments.
"I'm not the sort of bloke who lets something like that go. It's completely disrespectful. What guy can say they would stand for that happening to their girlfriend?
"I get very passionate about these things. I did what any bloke would do."
However, Paul denies groping Anne-Marie and insists he was merely talking to her at the event.
He said: "I had my daughter with me. We had dinner and adjourned to the bar and I was chatting with Gregg's girlfriend.
"He just turned on me and pushed me across the room and I fell on a table.
"But later, he gave me an apology and we had a couple of whiskies together. It was something and nothing."