The head of a Black-owned bank is being sued by an artist who alleges he drugged and sexually assaulted her at his Hollywood Hills home in 2019 after expressing interest in having her create a piece for his residence.
The woman was identified only as “Jane Doe” in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit brought Thursday against 62-year-old Kevin Cohee, chairman and CEO of OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank and the first Black-owned Internet bank in America. Cohee has held this position since 1996 and has a law degree from Harvard Law School and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin.
The suit alleges sexual battery, gender violence, sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. A representative for Cohee could not be immediately reached.
The artist met Cohee last Oct. 15 through a friend, the suit states. Upon learning her craft, Cohee expressed interest in her possibly acquiring some of her artwork, the suit states.
Cohee attended a group show art opening the next month at which one of Doe’s pieces was displayed and the next morning, he invited her to brunch at the Avra Beverly Hills restaurant, where they discussed her artwork and the possibility of her doing a commissioned piece for his home, the suit states. He bought Doe “a substantial amount of wine” that left her intoxicated, according to the suit.
Cohee drove Doe from the restaurant to his Hollywood Hills home, again, ostensibly to discuss her artwork, but instead he “sexually assaulted plaintiff in various ways,” according to the suit.
One of the alleged abuses caused Doe pain and he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head backward, according to the suit.
Doe has suffered physical injury, severe emotional distress, embarrassment and economic harm, according to the complaint.
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