According to news reports, Alfred Taubman is being sued by his former stewardess, Nicole Rock, 38, for unlawful employment practices including sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and wrongful termination.
In her lawsuit, Rock claimed that in numerous occasions, Taubman seized her head and neck to force her into a kiss, verbally harassed her, and repeatedly made offensive and sexual gestures towards her.
Rock further claimed that there was one time when Taubman ripped a hole in the crotch of her pantyhose and engaged in other unlawful sexual behavior attempts. There was also a time when Taubman pushed her on a bed in the rear cabin of his private plane intending to perform oral sex along with her objections.
Rock allegedly reported the matter to her supervisor and Taubman’s executive assistant but nothing was done to correct the wrongdoing.
Moreover, when Rock became pregnant out of wedlock in 2009, Taubman always told her that she should have an abortion and made other comments like she had gained weight and that she had ruined her life.
Subsequently, after giving birth in February 2010, Rock was forced to return back to work the following month instead of at the end of her approved leave time in April.
Meanwhile, in February 2011, Rock went on short-term disability due to extreme stress, anxiety, fearfulness, and depression as a result of working in a stressful and hostile environment that she was being coerced to endure. And as such, she was eventually forced to resign.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that Taubman had been involved in legal predicaments since he was accused of price fixing between rival British auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s in 2002. He was in fact, fined with $7.5 million and jailed for anti-trust violation for 10 months. Now, in Rock’s lawsuit, she was seeking for $29 million in damages.
Meanwhile, in a statement released by Taubman’s party, a spokesperson denied all the allegations set against the millionaire and claimed that Taubman plans to address the complaint through a legal process.
It can be remembered that the 88-year-old business tycoon is credited with conceptualizing modern shopping malls. He has also founded a real estate company which was named after him. In addition, he is said to be the largest ever contributor to the University of Michigan following his $142 million worth of donations. He had also given millions to Detroit-area schools and other charity institutions.
In fact, Taubman was listed in Forbes Magazine at the 491st place among the world’s richest people in the world and at the 142nd place of America’s richest people.
Apparently, this case is not far different from NBA legend Magic Johnson’s case wherein he was sued by his former flight attendant as well. Nevertheless, although both lawsuits imply improper employment practices, they however differ on the major grounds of their accusations, commented by a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer.