Food & Wine

​Reason for MasterChef star’s mystery exit revealed

​Reason for MasterChef star’s mystery exit revealed

Masterchef contestant Ben Ungermann has been charged with two sex offences allegedly committed in Melbourne against a 16-year-old girl.

Victoria police confirmed the charges against the 36-year-old Queensland man.

The crime was allegedly committed on February 23 in Docklands.

Police said in a brief statement that the charges were laid on March 6 after investigations from the Melbourne Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation team.

The accused has been granted bail and will appear in court on June 25.

Brisbane man Ungermann had a sparkling rise to the top when he became the 2017 runner up of the popular Channel Ten cooking competition, and was a returned contestant for this year’s all-stars edition.

However in March, the network confirmed Ben had been removed from this year’s season of MasterChef as he had been arrested for an incident that was of “personal nature.”

Ungermann has since vehemently denied the charges against him that allegedly took place while he was filming the Network 10 cooking completion.

He reposted a tweet from his lawyer Adam Houda which read: “I act for Ben Ungermann. Allegations against my client are vehemently denied - and will be defended.”

On Sunday’s episode featuring popstar Katy Perry, Ungermann was noticeably not present.

Judge Jock Zonfrillo told the room of contestants that he’d left the competition for a “personal matter” and wouldn’t be returning.

“Before we get to today’s challenge, we’ve got some news. You’re probably wondering where Ben is,” Zonfrillo said on the show.

“Due to a personal matter, Ben has had to leave the competition and he will not be returning.”