This week’s sudden leave of absence for personal reasons isn’t the only sex related problem for Richard Nanula and Colony Capital. The former Walt Disney Company exec and the investment firm were charged with sexual harassment in a suit (read it here) filed earlier this year by a former paralegal. “On or about January 30, 2012, Plaintiff was subjected to inappropriate workplace conduct. Plaintiff was engaged in a conversation with her colleague, K.C. Brooks, when she felt someone squeeze and grope her buttocks. This touching was unwelcome, extreme, and offensive. When she turned around Plaintiff observed Defendant Nanula walking away, and then heard him say, ‘uh-oh.’ Plaintiff immediately felt shocked, humiliated and demoralized by Defendant Nanula’s conduct. At first she attempted to refocus on her conversation with Ms. Brooks, however, she was too upset to continue the conversation and returned to her desk,” alleges the eight-claim complaint from Stephanie Shaw. Filed on January 30, 2013 in LA Superior Court, the complaint goes on to detail how Shaw attempted to have the situation addressed by Colony, how she suffered emotional distress from the groping and other incidents and how she was let go on April 24, 2012 after less than a year at the company. Besides the sexual harassment charge, the complaint claims failure to provide family medical leave in violation of California law, intentional infliction of emotional distress, gender discrimination retaliation, wrongful termination, and failure to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment. In her filing in January, Shaw sought unspecified damages, legal and medical costs and a jury trial. The case, first reported by Variety, is not actually before the courts right now. It is being handled in binding arbitration as agreed by both parties on April 30. Timothy Long and Michelle O’Meara of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s LA and Sacramento offices represent Colony Advisors and Nanula. Stephanie Shaw is represented by Joseph Lovretovich, Ellen Cohen and Tiffany Lee of Woodlands Hills firm JML Law.
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