Mariah Carey sues assistant for alleged blackmail, she countersues her for wrongful termination and sexual harassment
The shocking allegations filed in Liana's lawsuit came after Carey's own lawsuit, in which the former was accused of being 'a grifter, a peeping Tom, and an extortionist'
American Singer and songwriter Mariah Carey's former secretary responded to the pop diva's recent lawsuit by countersuing her. Hours after news broke that Carey had filed a $3 million suit against her former assistant, Liana Shakhnazaryan, for allegedly violating a non-disclosure agreement, the ex-employee hit back by countersuing her with a lengthy lawsuit accusing Carey, and her former manager, Stella Bulochnikov, for a series of alleged claims.
The allegations mentioned in the lawsuit include wrongful termination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, racial discrimination, sexual harassment, failure to pay earned wages upon termination, breach of verbal contract, rescission of contract, violation of the Bane Act, violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
The lawsuit claims Shakhnazaryan began working as Carey's assistant in September 2015 and had a verbal employment agreement that she will be paid an amount of $328,500 annually. Shakhnazaryan claimed in the suit she was "required to meet constant demands of great magnitude and often on incredibly short time demands," and that she also served as a personal assistant to Bulochnikov (Carey's manager) and was a coordinator between the manager and the singer.
The former personal secretary reportedly alleged she was "subjected to severe, pervasive, sexual, derogatory, offensive, physically abusive and outrageous conduct by [Bulochnikov]," including being referred to as "a f**king Armenian whore," among other racially charged insults.
Shakhnazaryan also alleged she was subjected to "acts of physical abuse" including the "slapping of [her] buttocks and breasts," as well as being tackled to the ground by Bulochnikov and "urinated upon in the presence of others on multiple occasions." The documents also accused Bulochnikov of making a string of offensive sexual and derogatory comments regarding her Armenian heritage, and ridiculing Shakhnazaryan's physical appearance.
The assistant claimed Carey "had knowledge of the [conduct], as much of such improper conduct was carried out against [Shakhnazaryan] with Carey's knowledge, permission and/or in Carey's presence." She said not only Carey but also the other employees witnessed the acts and did nothing about it.
Furthermore, Shakhnazaryan claims she reported Bulochnikov's behavior to Carey and was terminated "in direct response" to her complaint. Shakhnazaryan's suit finally claims she "suffered and continues to suffer severe emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment" as a result of Bulochnikov's misconduct.
Regarding her accusations of battery, the former secretary states she was "subjected to aggressive, abusive and harmful physical conduct by Carey... [which was] performed... with the intent to harm and/or offend" Shakhnazaryan, while she was living at Carey's home from November 2015 through "the middle of 2017" as required by the terms of her employment.
Shakhnazaryan is seeking some compensatory damages "including lost wages, past and future earnings [and] unpaid overtime," as well as money for "physical injury, mental pain, and anguish, and severe emotional distress," along with general damages, attorney's fees, the cost of the lawsuit, and punitive damages. She is also demanding a trial by jury.
The shocking allegations filed in Shakhnazaryan's lawsuit came after Carey's own lawsuit, in which Shakhnazaryan was accused of being "a grifter, a peeping Tom, and an extortionist." Carey's lawsuit accuses Shakhnazaryan of secretly filming her without her knowledge or consent, which, if put in the public domain, will be personally embarrassing and professionally hampering to her career.
The lawsuit also alleged Shakhnazaryan of displaying the intimate videos to her friends and then threatening Carey of "releasing the videos, and other sensitive, private information unless Mariah provided her $8,000,000." In a statement given by Carey's representative to ET, he mentioned the allegations and said the evidence supporting them in their lawsuit are "vast and deplorable."
"This new year welcomes Mariah's continued efforts to clean the trash from her life," the statement reads. "Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit against her. Given that the evidence against this former assistant is vast and deplorable, we anticipate a victorious resolution. Mariah continues her streak of success this year with an upcoming North American tour and returns to Vegas."
Mark Quigley, Shakhnazaryan's attorney, also released a statement to ET Wednesday, vehemently denying all the allegations made in Carey's lawsuit against her client. "These baseless allegations are an attempt to attack my client’s character and deflect attention away from workplace harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit she filed today against her former employer, Mariah Carey. My client never did anything she wasn’t specifically asked to do while working in the course and scope of her job as a personal assistant. Her lawsuit is about holding her employer accountable for severely inappropriate behavior that caused tremendous stress and emotional turmoil" said Quigley.