Jennifer Aniston Summoned to Testify in Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Case
December 14, 2009
In recent Los Angeles, California employment law news, Hollywood star Jennifer Aniston was recently served a summons to testify in an ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit that involves her talent agent, Todd Shemarya, and his ex-assistant, Heather Devlin.
The lawsuit accuses Shemarya of creating a hostile work environment and exposing Devlin to constant sexual harassment in the workplace. Shemarya is being accused of harassing Devlin by subjecting her to offensive racial and sexual slurs, pornographic emails and videos, as well as derogatory remarks about the firm's Hollywood clients, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, Aniston's ex-husband. Devlin claims in the suit that Shemarya was stealing from his clients on a regular basis--exposing Devlin to this client theft. Devlin claims to have been fired via email after she refused to help him steal from clients. Shermarya is also being accused of exposing Devlin to drug purchase and usage in the workplace.
Devlin also claimed in the suit that Shemarya sexually harassed her by arranging for the only bathroom in the office bathroom to be without a door during her entire 6 years in the job. Shemarya allegedly exposed his genitals to her on a regular basis and forcing her to take dictation while he urinated and defecated. Shemarya also allegedly walked around naked in front of her, and forced her to use the bathroom without a door.
In the suit, Devlin also accuses Shemarya of persuading her to abandon her previous career as a Beverly Hills retail saleswoman making $100,000 a year for a $30,000 a-year job as his assistant--with empty promises of a secure job that would lead to a career as a top talent agent for celebrities. After being fired, Devlin was allegedly refused severance by Shemarya and forced to sign a confidentiality agreement about his unlawful behavior.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the EEOC, sexual advances that are unwelcome, sexual conduct that is either verbal or physical, requests for sexual favors in the workplace, or any behavior of this nature that affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's job performance, or creates a hostile work environment is considered sexual harassment.
Aniston, the former Friends star, was reportedly served with the summons as she was exiting the SELF Magazine party for the launch of personal trainer Mandy Ingbar's new DVD "Yogalosophy" in West Hollywood. Ingbar is Aniston's personal yoga trainer, and is has become well known for giving Jennifer Aniston her famous physique.
As Aniston left the party, a woman attempted to serve her with a subpoena requiring her to testify in sexual harassment case, but Jen never picked up the documents. They were allegedly placed on the front windshield of her car, and her bodyguard apparently took them. According to the lawyer for Shemarya, although Aniston didn't pick up the documents directly, she has been served.
Shemarya has denied all allegations, and paints Devlin as a disgruntled employee who is interested in extortion for monetary purposes.
Our skilled Anaheim-based Labor and Employment Lawyers are knowledgeable about sexual harassment in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, contact Howard Law, PC today to schedule a free consultation about your rights.
Jennifer Aniston Served Legal Papers at Yoga Party, FoxNews.com, December 7, 2009
Jennifer Aniston Subpoenaed in Agent's Sexual Harassment Lawsuit, All Headline News.com, December 9, 2009
Jennifer Aniston--You Got Served, TMZ, December 4, 2009
Complaint Against Talent Agent Shemarya Replete With Lurid Hollywood Gossip, Courthouse News Service, November 6, 2008
Todd Shemarya Gets More Attention Than He Ever Deserved, Variety, November 6, 2008
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