Mariah Carey sued by former assistant alleging verbal, sexual abuse
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In a new lawsuit, Mariah Carey’s former assistant claims that she was subjected to physical and sexual abuse, including being urinated on and called several names.
Lianna Shakhnazaryan filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that she was tormented by the Emotions singer’s former manager, Stella Bulochnikov.
The lawsuit alleges that Bulochnikov slapped her buttocks and breasts, tackled her and would sit on her face, according to Variety.
Shakhnazaryan also claims that Bulohchnikov would hold her down and urinate on her.
She alleges that Bulochnikov would call her an “Armenian wh*re,” an “Armenian princess,” and a “f**king ni**er.”
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The lawsuit also claims that Carey condoned Bulochnikov’s behaviour and the abuse would sometimes happen in her presence.
Shakhnazaryan says that she was hired by Carey in September 2015 and was offered a salary of US$328,500 a year.
As Carey’s assistant, she was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and worked for Carey and Bulochnikov.
The suit claims that Carey was also physically and psychologically abusive towards her employee.
Shakhnazaryan alleges she was fired in November 2017 after reporting Bulochnikov’s abusive behaviour to Carey during a stay at a Connecticut resort.
Shakhnazaryan is suing for claims of wrongful termination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, racial discrimination, sexual battery and sexual harassment, among other allegations.
On Jan. 16, Carey filed a lawsuit of her own against Shakhnazaryan, claiming she is a “grifter and extortionist.”
“This new year welcomes Mariah’s continued efforts to clean the trash from her life,” Carey’s representative said in a statement to USA TODAY. “Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit.”
According to court documents obtained by People, Carey is suing her former assistant for extortion, invasion of privacy, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
“Shakhnazaryan, without Mariah’s knowledge or permission, secretly filmed Mariah engaged in personal activities which, if revealed, Shakhnazaryan knew would be personally embarrassing and professionally damaging to Mariah,” the lawsuit claims.
Carey’s suit also alleges that Shakhnazaryan “displayed the intimate videos to her friends and co-workers,” and threatened to release or sell the footage if she were ever fired from her job.
“Confronted with the fact that she recorded Mariah without her knowledge or consent, Shakhnazaryan did not apologize,” the lawsuit says. “Instead, Shakhnazaryan threatened to release the videos, and other sensitive, private information, unless Mariah provided her $8,000,000. This is blackmail.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Shakhnazaryan used credit cards meant for business purposes “for her personal benefit.”
The We Belong Together singer is seeking damages upwards of $3 million.
The 48-year-old singer was sued by Bulochnikov last April, alleging she was owed millions of dollars, and though the Fantasy hitmaker never responded to the lawsuit, the pair have now resolved their differences.
A lawyer for Bulochnikov told the New York Post newspaper’s Page Six column: “The parties [have] reached a mutually agreed resolution to this matter.”
The lawyer declined to say whether their client, who had sought unspecified damages, had received a cash settlement.
According to reports, Bulochnikov agreed to “discontinue this action against Mariah Carey with prejudice, with each party to bear its own attorneys’ fees and costs.”
Bulochnikov had previously said she was suing for breach of contract, violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, and a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act as she believed she was owed commissions on Carey’s earnings, with sources claiming the figure was more than $100 million in three years.
Despite the dispute — which saw Bulochnikov accuse her former client of making her feel uncomfortable by frequently walking around naked — the manager and the I’ll Be There singer had vowed to “continue to support” one another when they parted ways in November 2018.
They said in a joint statement at the time: “After working together for almost three years, Mariah Carey and Stella Bulochnikov have determined that it is in their mutual best interest to part ways on day-to-day management.
“During their time working together, they have accomplished great things, including, most recently, Mariah Carey’s new music and motion picture projects for this upcoming holiday season.
“Mariah Carey and Stella Bulochnikov remain partners in a number of business ventures, and will continue to support each other in those endeavors.”
— With files from the Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
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