A judge Monday warned a billionaire hologram producer facing trial for allegedly sexually harassing a former employee in the workplace that he will not allow outbursts in the courtroom similar to one the businessman made during a previous trial earlier this year.
“I’m not going to have any tolerance for talking out of turn or creating any disturbances,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Christopher Lui told Alki David before the judge heard pretrial motions in the case of plaintiff Elizabeth Taylor.
On April 16, during the trial of Taylor’s fellow plaintiff, Chasity Jones, David lashed out at attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents both women. As she cross-examined him, he verbally attacked the lawyer and her mother, prominent feminist attorney Gloria Allred, before a bailiff escorted him out of the courtroom.
“I think you are an abhorrent woman,” Alki David told Bloom. “Do something with your life, woman.”
The 51-year-old David is representing himself in the Taylor case. Two attorneys, Ellyn Garofalo and Amir Kaltgrad, are defending his companies.
Despite the judge’s admonition, David again attacked Bloom and also Taylor, accusing both of being dishonest.
“I never laid a finger on that lady, not one,” David said of Taylor, who was sitting in the audience. “That lady is a liar.”
David also told the judge that during Monday’s arguments, Bloom was telling “lies, one heaped upon another.”
For her part, Bloom accused David of taunting and photographing Taylor in the courtroom hallway and posting the image on Instagram before the hearing. She said a sheriff’s deputy ordered David to delete the photo and she asked the judge to order him to take it off the digital platform.
David countered that he obeyed the deputy by deleting the image from his phone, but said the deputy did not tell him to take it off social media.
“I don’t see why I should,” David said.
The judge did not immediately rule on Bloom’s request to order David to remove the photo from Instagram.
Taylor was a witness in Jones’ case. She testified her former boss once picked her up by the ankles and walked her upside down around the office, exposing her underwear.
“I was completely embarrassed, mortified and humiliated,” the 32-year-old Taylor said. “I screamed for help and he locked me in an office and closed the door.”
Taylor further said during the Jones trial she was hired as an account executive in January 2015 by one of David’s companies and was fired in June of that year. Describing other alleged harassment by David, she said he once walked up from behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders without her knowledge or permission while she was at her desk. David then played a pornographic video on her computer that involved two women, Taylor said.
“I was humiliated,” Taylor said. “I didn’t think it should happen in the workplace.”
On yet another occasion, David brought a man dressed in a police uniform who was actually a stripper, Taylor said.
“He pretty much took off all of his clothes,” Taylor said. “I was astonished, just disturbed.”
David also once tied Taylor to a chair with computer wire, she said.
Taylor said the David’s companies did not have a human resources department, so she eventually complained to one of the executives about David’s alleged misconduct.
The executive blamed Taylor for what happened and refused to take a written statement from her, Taylor said.
Jones is scheduled to testify in Taylor’s case, but the judge ruled Monday that she cannot be questioned about the verdicts, in which a jury found in her favor and awarded her a total of $11 million in compensatory and punitive damages, unless the evidence is needed to challenge defense testimony. Jones maintained she was hired in January 2015 as a sales accountant and fired in 2016 because she refused to have sex with David.
Jury selection in Taylor’s case is scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon. Lui is hearing the case because Judge Rafael Ongkeko, who presided over the Jones trial, is on a temporary special assignment handling complex cases.
David was behind the hologram technology that brought slain rapper Tupac Shakur to Coachella in 2012 and saw the late Michael Jackson moonwalk at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.
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