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Network 10 was ‘not aware of nature of the charges’ against MasterChef’s Ben Ungermann during arrest

Network 10 claims they ‘weren’t aware of the nature of the charges’ against MasterChef star Ben Ungermann when he was arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl

Network 10 and Endemol Shine Australia have admitted this week that they weren’t fully aware of the charges laid against Ben Ungermann, when he was first arrested earlier this year. 

It comes after MasterChef fans questioned why the 34-year-old wasn’t edited out of the show after he was charged with two counts of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

A Network 10 spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday: ‘Network 10 and Endemol Shine Australia were not aware of the nature of the charges laid against Ben Ungermann by Victoria Police.’

Speaking out: Network 10 claimed this week that they ‘weren’t aware of the nature of the charges’ against MasterChef star Ben Ungermann (pictured) when he was arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl earlier this year

They added: ‘As this is an ongoing police matter, we will not be making any further comment.’

In March, it was first reported that Ungermann had been arrested by police. 

But at the time, a spokesperson for Endemol Shine described his arrest as being ‘of a personal nature’ to The Herald Sun. 

Endemol Shine is the production company behind the hit show. 

Arrest: In March, it was first reported that Ungermann had been arrested by police. But at the time, a spokesperson for Endemol Shine described his arrest as being 'of a personal nature'

Arrest: In March, it was first reported that Ungermann had been arrested by police. But at the time, a spokesperson for Endemol Shine described his arrest as being ‘of a personal nature’

On Tuesday, Daily Mail Australia revealed Ungermann had in fact been charged by Victorian sexual crime squad detectives on March 6 with two counts of sexual assault following an alleged incident on February 23 with a 16-year-old girl. 

Audiences were left reeling at the news, including one on Twitter who asked why Ungermann hadn’t been edited out of the show.

They wrote: ‘If you missed the news on #masterchefau’s Ben Ungermann’s arrest… They should have edited him out more.’ 

Charges: On Tuesday, Daily Mail Australia revealed Ungermann had in fact been charged by Victorian sexual crime squad detectives on March 6 with two counts of sexual assault following an alleged incident on February 23 with a 16-year-old girl

Charges: On Tuesday, Daily Mail Australia revealed Ungermann had in fact been charged by Victorian sexual crime squad detectives on March 6 with two counts of sexual assault following an alleged incident on February 23 with a 16-year-old girl

Another wrote: ‘Ben was arrested for alleged sexual offences against a 16 year old? You’re kidding, why, wasn’t he edited fully off the show?’

Meanwhile, social psychologist Dr Karen Phillip explained to The Daily Telegraph that it was ‘unethical’ for Channel 10 to continue showing Ben and that they should have edited him out. 

‘Even if it’s not proven, there is still the allegation (of sexual assault), and the fact is that will probably bring back a lot of memories and fears of the trauma that sexual assault victims may have experienced previously,’ she said.

Furious: Audiences were left reeling at the news, including one on Twitter who asked why Ungermann hadn't been edited out of the show

Furious: Audiences were left reeling at the news, including one on Twitter who asked why Ungermann hadn’t been edited out of the show

‘That’s a production decision and we know they’re just going to go with the bottom line, but it’s unethical for them to continue to show him,’ she added. 

Ungermann will deny all allegations and has hired top criminal lawyer Adam Houda to represent him in court.

He is listed to appear before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on June 25.

Mr Houda, who has 24 years experience in criminal law, told Daily Mail Australia his client was completely blindsided by the charges.

‘My client is distressed by the charges, which came as a huge shock to him,’ he said on Tuesday night.

‘The allegations, I am instructed, are a complete fabrication and are denied,’ Mr Houda added.

Heading to the courts: Ungermann will deny all allegations and has hired top criminal lawyer Adam Houda to represent him in court. He is listed to appear before Melbourne Magistrates' Court on June 25

Heading to the courts: Ungermann will deny all allegations and has hired top criminal lawyer Adam Houda to represent him in court. He is listed to appear before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on June 25

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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