A judge ruled Mariah Carey and her former manager will not have to submit their cell phones for content review to a former assistant of the singer, who is both suing Carey and defending herself against allegations she shared intimate photos of the megastar with third parties.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Burdge ruled Friday that Lianna Shakhnazarian, a former assistant to Carey, failed to show the information sought — including text messages and voice mails — would be relevant to the litigation.
“It is undisputed that Carey made a significant production of documents and has responded to discovery that is better focused on the issues in dispute,” Burdge wrote.
Shakhnazarian also has not presented any evidence that Carey has “engaged in spoliation of evidence,” according to the judge.
Kevin T. Faulkner, a vice president of the Crypsis Group, a cybersecurity consulting firm specializing in digital forensic investigations that was hired by Carey’s attorneys, said in a sworn declaration that seven iPhones belonging to Carey were examined.
“Upon examination, Crypsis found that none of the iPhone devices were unlocked and able to be forensically imaged,” Faulkner said.
Burdge came to a similar conclusion as he did with Carey in denying examination of the phones of the entertainer’s former manager, Stella Bulochnikov, and the latter’s daughter, Mishka.
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, 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.
Carey countersued Shakhnazarian the same month, also in January 2019, 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.