The founder of a West Hollywood recording studio is suing his former executive assistant, alleging she defamed him by telling a work colleague in July that he sexually assaulted her during what the plaintiff maintains was a consensual relationship.
Jed Leiber, founder and resident composer of NightBird Recording Studios, brought the suit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. A representative for the defendant could not be immediately reached.
Leiber alleges the defamatory statements came last July, when the woman told a former NightBird colleague after she resigned that Leiber “assaulted me,” and then added “sexually.”
NightBird hired the woman last November to be Leiber’s executive assistant at an annual salary of $70,000, the suit states. The two subsequently consensually engaged in “more than one sexual encounter with one another” and she repeatedly told the plaintiff she loved him, a sentiment he never reciprocated, according to the suit, which alleges the defendant’s intentions toward Leiber were “clearly and unambiguously romantic.”
Throughout the time she worked for Leiber, she “consistently conducted herself … more as a romantic figure in Mr. Leiber’ s life than as a professional collaborator,” the suit alleges.
The woman frequently drank heavily around Leiber and in late April, she drove home in the early morning visibly intoxicated, despite the plaintiff’s request that she use a ride-hailing service or stay in his guest house, the suit says.
Due to the “unpleasantness” surrounding the drinking incident, the relationship deteriorated and the last straw came in June, when Leiber underwent surgery to relieve chronic shoulder pain, according to his court papers.
Leiber says he and his nurse asked his assistant to pick up two prescription medications for him, one of which was a precaution against a potentially life-threatening adverse reaction. But she never showed up with the prescriptions and later gave no adequate explanation as to why, the suit alleges.
The woman had been friendly, with another NightBird employee since being hired, but did not say anything about her relationship with Leiber until about four days before resigning in a letter dated July 6, the suit says.
Although the defendant admitted to the co-employee that she had consensual sexual relations with Leiber and that she frequently drank alcohol to excess, she also said some of the relations were not consensual, the suit alleges. When the colleague asked if it was “rape,” the woman allegedly replied, `Everything up to intercourse, but not intercourse.”
The sexual contact between the pair began last November and ended in the spring, according to the plaintiff’s court papers.
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