Every single day in various work environments, sexual harassment takes place. Sexual harassment is wrong; no matter what the situation or whom the culprit is, but oftentimes it goes unreported for the wrong reasons. This means the victim is generally left alone to deal with feelings of mental distress, anguish and a host of other emotions that go along with working in a hostile job environment.
The times in which the sexual harassment is reported and a New York City or Philadelphia sexual harassment attorney is retained means that the victim has a better chance of getting justice, yet those reported incidents are highly unlikely to make headline news.
Below, I give you eight cases that did make the news. The reason for their notoriety are obvious since the cases clearly have celebrity involvements; but just because one has made a name for him or herself in Hollywood, does not mean that he or she should get away with breaking the law.
- Britney Spears: Her former bodyguard, Fernando Flores claimed that oftentimes she would flash him, invite him into her bedroom when she was naked, and do other off-handed things in several unsuccessful attempts to seduce him throughout the two months of his employment back in 2010.
An out of court settlement was reached in 2012 for an undisclosed amount of money to prevent Flores from leaking humiliating information about her to the public.
- Al Gore: Licensed massage therapist, Holly Hagerty from Portland, OR, claimed that the former vice president became both threatening and angry as she resisted his sexual advances. At one point, he even tried to rip her clothes off and have sex with her.
After looking into the matter further and finding several contradictions in the allegations, as well as a ton of inconsistencies, the Portland authorities decided to drop the case and not pursue any further charges.
- David Boreanaz: Kristina Hagan, an aspiring actress and extra from the show “Bones” in which Boreanaz has a recurring role, has accused him of sexual harassment. Hagan said they met back in 2009 after she appeared on the show. She says that he had offered to help her get more work but never followed through. She claimed that he “pleasured himself” in front of her and sent her text messages which were “sexually inappropriate.”
The lawsuit was dismissed two years later by Hagan’s attorney, indicating that “the case had been resolved” but no further information was given.
- Brett Favre: 24-year-old, Jenn Sterger claimed that she was sexually harassed by the 38-year-old Jets quarterback in 2008 after she was hired as a “Gameday” host. According to Sterger, she was approached by a Jet’s employee and told that Favre was interested in her, but she declined. She figured that was the end of it but instead Brett continued to pursue her by sending her “creepy” voicemail messages and offensive text messages of his nude crotch. Sterger did not report the harassment at the time to her bosses out of fear that no one would believe her and she would lose her job. Instead she kept quiet and later confided in an editor at “Deadspin.com” about the harassment. The story went public against her consent and according to Sterger, after the NFL found out about it, they launched an investigation, doing everything they could to try and protect their best interests while disgracefully treating her, the victim like she was the wrongdoer. Sterger slammed the NFL for the improper handling of the situation but decided to drop the case, move on with her life and leave the misconduct behind her.
- Bill O’Reilly: Author, journalist, political commentator; and host of the popular, controversial show “The O’ Reilly Factor,” was accused by the show’s former producer Andrea Mackris in 2004 for his overly tenacious sexual behavior towards her which took place for two years.
The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.
- John Travolta: Former cruise line employee, Fabian Zanzi made no attempt to keep the harassment he endured by the famous actor confidential. He reported it to his Royal Caribbean supervisors, accusing Travolta of his monetary propositions to him in the amount of $12,000 involving sex. He was later fired by his supervisors who he said they did not believe him. Ironically, Zanzi was the third person to accuse Travolta of sexual harassment within just a couple of weeks.
Just days earlier, two anonymous accusers came forward with similar stories about Travolta.
- Steven Seagal: Former employee, 23-year-old, Kayden Nguyen, filed a $1 million lawsuit against the famous actor back in 2010, when she was hired by Seagal to be his personal assistant. She claimed that Seagal wanted much more from her and he had no qualms about telling her how he wanted to use her as his “sex toy” among making other unwanted sexual advances towards her.
Nguyen’s attorneys eventually dismissed the suit, giving no further information and no indication if an out-of-court settlement had been reached.
- Fat Joe: Rapper, Joseph Cartegena also known as Fat Joe was accused of sexual harassment back in 2010 in Wisconsin, when after a concert, a 33-year old woman who was invited into his limo claimed that he and his friends inappropriately touched her and sexually harassed her. Fat Joe was brought in for questioning but released several hours later. He denied all claims indicating that they were false and that the case was “money-motivated.”
The case remains open with both sides having the likelihood of returning to the case.
It’s always important to remember at your job, if it feels uncomfortable to you, affects your job performance or is causing you mental distress, you need to immediately seek the professional advice of an NYC sexual harassment and employment law attorney. The harasser doesn’t have to be famous; he or she can be a direct supervisor, a supervisor from another department, a coworker, or even a non-employee. Don’t let sexual harassment go unreported, contact an NYC sexual harassment and employment law attorney today.
Call today to schedule a FREE consultation in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia with a sexual harassment attorney at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC you can reach us online or by calling 877-469-5297. Our New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia employment law attorneys handle cases involving sexual harassment, employment discrimination, and other employment-related lawsuits and EEOC claims. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami to serve you.
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