A judge says he is inclined to allow a former personal assistant to Mariah Carey to make a minor expansion of her lawsuit alleging the singer wrongfully fired her in 2017.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard J. Burdge Jr. issued a tentative ruling allowing Lianna Shakhnazarian to revise two of her causes of action and add additional facts. The judge is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday before handing down a final ruling.
Shakhnazarian began the litigation in January 2019 by suing Carey and Mirage Entertainment Inc., alleging 14 causes of action, including wrongful termination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment and racial discrimination.
Shakhnazarian was hired in 2015 and alleges that her job duties included coordinating with Bulochnikov to ensure that Carey’s personal and professional needs were met, requiring her to work irregular hours seven days a week as needed. Shakhnazarian further alleges that during her employment, Carey’s then-manager, Stella Bulochnikov, subjected her to racial slurs about her Armenian heritage and to physical abuse, but that Carey did nothing about it.
Shakhnazarian maintains she was wrongfully fired in November 2017.
In her court papers arguing in favor of amending her complaint, Shakhnazarian cites recent depositions that she maintains have uncovered facts about her “rigorous work schedule.” She also maintains there will be no prejudice to Carey because no depositions of key witnesses have been taken and trial is more than one year away.
In opposition, Carey and Mirage contend that the motion should be denied because the revisions are not being made in good faith, are being offered more than two years after the complaint was filed and would expand the scope of discovery and needlessly increase the expense of this litigation.
But the judge says in his tentative ruling that even though the plaintiff’s work schedule must have been known to her all along, the defendants are not prejudiced by allowing revisions at this stage because the trial is more than a year away and there is enough time to do discovery on the new allegations.
Carey has countersued Shakhnazarian, alleging breach of contract and invasion of privacy. Carey alleges that Shakhnazarian violated a non-disclosure agreement by filming the singer at her home without Carey’s consent and by later sharing the video with third parties.
Carey also alleges Shakhnazarian used Carey’s corporate credit cards to purchase items she kept for herself.
Carey also filed a cross-complaint for indemnity against Bulochnikov in March 2019.
Bulochnikov filed a cross-complaint against Shakhnazarian in July 2019, alleging that the Shakhnazarian suit caused her to lose her long-standing role as Carey’s manager, harmed her reputation and caused her to lose a significant amount of revenue.
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