A former executive is suing a Van Nuys-based clothing manufacturer, alleging she was fired when she complained that the married son of the company founder coerced her into a sexual relationship and arranged for her to stay in a “sex pad.”
The woman is identified only as Jane Doe in her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Jerry Leigh of California Inc. and Andrew Leigh, described in the complaint as the current president of the firm founded in 1962 by his father, Jerry Leigh.
“Plaintiff felt like Mr. Leigh’s personal sex slave because she had to comply with his demands, regardless of the time, whenever he wanted to have sex,” the suit states.
The suit’s allegations include wrongful termination, gender violence, sexual harassment, sexual battery, retaliation and failure to provide a workplace free of harassment.
The suit seeks unspecified damages. A JLC representative did not immediately replay to an email request for comment.
JLC has licensing agreements with many high-profile companies such as Disney, Warner Bros. and Sanrio Co. Ltd., the suit states. JLC also owns 100 percent of the David Lerner New York brand, according to Doe’s complaint.
When Doe was hired at JLC, her primary duties were to work with Lerner and report to Andrew Leigh, the suit states. She was promoted in June 2012 to vice president of design of the Lerner fashion line, the suit states.
Andrew Leigh began flirting with Doe, who also was married, during her first two years at JLC, the suit states.
“Plaintiff initially brushed off Mr. Leigh’s flirtation advances because she had worked so hard to get the highly coveted position of brand director and did not want to make any waves…,” the suit states.
But in August 2013, during a business trip to Las Vegas, Andrew Leigh inappropriately touched Doe after she consented to a dance with him, the suit alleges.
“Plaintiff was very alarmed and shocked and immediately told him to stop,” the suit states.
For the next few months, Andrew Leigh continued to pursue Doe, the suit states. During this time Andrew Leigh developed a dispute with Lerner and fired him according to the suit.
During a business trip to Portland in October 2013, Andrew Leigh “invited himself” into Doe’s hotel room, then “opened a bottle of wine and then proceeded to have forcible sex with plaintiff,” the suit alleges.
Andrew Leigh later leased a company-subsidized apartment in Century City, where he stored alcohol and expected Doe, who was having marital difficulties, to have intimate relations with him without having to worry about his wife finding out, the suit states.
“In fact, plaintiff was expected to keep her freezer stocked with vodka and Mr. Leigh would reimburse plaintiff in cash for replenishing his supply,” the suit states.
Andrew Leigh once had sex with Doe in his car in the driveway of his parents’ home, “which made (Doe) feel like a prostitute,” the suit alleges.
In October, Doe sent a text to Andrew Leigh in which she requested a leave of absence to deal with her stress, saying her sexual relationship with him was “causing me severe distress, both at work and in my personal life.”
Andrew Leigh was irritated with the message and did not apologize or try to “make it right with plaintiff,’ the suit states.
On Oct. 23, Doe sent a doctor’s note justifying her request for medical leave, but she received a termination letter and final check from JLC the next day, the suit states.
“Plaintiff … alleges that her employment was terminated in retaliation for her complaining about sexual harassment and in retaliation for taking a medical leave of absence,” the suit states.
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