An actor/comedian who dated a comedy writer while she was working for a Beverly Hills billionaire testified Thursday that she regularly told him during their relationship about her alleged mistreatment by her boss, who she subsequently sued for sexual harassment.
“It became, `What happened today?”’ Will Forte told a Los Angeles Superior Court jury hearing trial of Lauren Reeves’ lawsuit against Alki David and two of his companies, FilmOn TV and Hologram USA.
Forte, a “Saturday Night Live” cast member from 2002-10 and the creator and star of the sitcom “The Last Man on Earth,” said he dated Reeves for about three months in 2016.
Forte said Reeves confided in him about 50 times during their relationship about her work conditions. He said much of the behavior she attributed to David was sexual in nature and that her boss had told her she wanted to have sex with him.
Forte said that despite her work issues, Reeves wanted to continue working in the hologram business and believed she was strong enough emotionally to handle the issues with David.
“She really loved the job,” Forte said. “She just was pretty unflappable.”
Reeves testified previously that she had two stints working as an independent contractor for David, one in 2015 at FilmOn TV and another in 2016 at Hologram USA. She said she came back the second time to pitch an idea to him because she was interested in working with holograms.
She said David twice put his hands around her throat in the workplace in April 2016, the second time occurring in front of a comedian with whom she was having a conversation. She said David demanded during the alleged assault that she look into his eyes, and said he was bullied as a child.
On another occasion as the two walked to a nearby grocery store, David told Reeves he was stopping to get supplies for his “rape room,” she alleged. In still another incident, David placed one of his fingers in his mouth, made moaning sounds and uttered a comment that referred to the private parts of her celebrity boyfriend at the time, Reeves testified.
She said that after enduring many indignities, the final straw for her came in September 2016, when David returned from an absence and summoned her to his office for an update on a new show.
David closed the window blinds and the door, dropped his pants and then forced her head toward his private parts. He then opened the door and called a sales executive into the office, according to the plaintiff, who said she left after work that day and never went back.
Forte said he spoke with Reeves shortly after she left Hologram USA and that her personality had changed.
“She was definitely serious and anxious and she told me about what happened with Alki,” he said.
Forte said he has talked with Reeves about 10 to 20 other times on the phone with Reeves since her departure and that he has met with her on one or two occasions. He said he noticed a change for the better the second time.
“She seemed emotionally to be doing a little better,” Forte said.
David was not in court Thursday. The 51-year-old defendant been admonished several times by Judge Terry Green for outbursts in the courtroom, which generally occur when he hears testimony he does not believe. His anger is usually targeted at Reeves’ lawyers, who work with attorney Gloria Allred.
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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