LOS ANGELES (CN) – Two young women have sued billionaire entrepreneur Alkiviades David in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming he sexually harassed them when they worked for his hologram and television production companies by making them watch fetishist videos, wear electric shock collars and view suggestive photos of him.
Former sales executives Chasity Jones and Elizabeth Taylor claim the Beverly Hills heir to a Coca-Cola bottling fortune and his companies Hologram USA and FilmOn.TV fired them when they complained about his sexual battery and other behavior.
“Throughout the duration of their employment, they were forced to work in a hostile, misogynistic workplace rife with sexual innuendo and degrading behavior to women,” Jones and Taylor say in the Feb. 2 lawsuit.
Additional business defendants include Hologram USA Entertainment, FilmOn Media Holdings, FilmOn.TV Networks, Alki David Productions and Anakando Media Group.
David’s attorney Barry Rothman denied the women’s allegations and accused them of wrongdoing themselves, including attempted extortion and self-dealing.
“These are two women who have no filters and no boundaries,” Rothman said in an interview Monday.
It’s the fourth lawsuit in LA Superior Court accusing David of sexually harassing and/or assaulting or battering a female employee, according to the Courthouse News database. In a fifth lawsuit, a male employee claims he was assaulted by an Alki bodyguard. Other lawsuits involve David’s business doings.
All the major television networks sued David’s FilmOn in New York and California, claiming the TV streaming service violates their copyrights. His Hologram USA has drawn patent and intellectual property lawsuits over its technology used to project holograms of celebrities.
One of the two sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him in 2016 has been settled. The second one, filed in December by attorney Gloria Allred, is active.
David’s attorney Rothman said: “He’s sued an awful lot because he’s got a lot of money.”
Taylor and Jones’s lawsuit presents “a really shocking set of facts,” their attorney Lisa Bloom said in an interview Monday.
Both women, who went to work for David’s companies in January 2015, claim he required them and other employees to follow his social media accounts, where he regularly posted photos and videos of sexual poses or situations, many featuring David himself. One was “an Instagram photo depicting Mr. David licking and/or sucking a cat’s genitals,” the women say in the complaint.
They add that “Mr. David placed electric shock collars, typically used for helpless, abused dogs, on his employees’ necks.”
He made them and other employees watch a video called “Two Girls, One Cup,” which depicts “two women in fetishistic intimate relations, including defecating into a cup, taking turns in what appears to be consuming the excrement, and vomiting into each other's mouths,” according to the complaint.
Jones says David twice sexually assaulted her by running his hand over her vaginal area, once outside her dress and once under her dress but over her underwear.
She also says the defendants asked her to commit insurance fraud by signing paperwork indicating she had been hired in March 2015 rather than January of that year, in order to fall within a regulatory deadline.
Taylor claims David once lifted her off her chair and “then maneuvered his hands to her ankles and held her upside down” to carry her past co-workers and lock her in a small office.
Another time, “Mr. David tied Ms. Taylor up with computer wire and tied her to a chair,” the lawsuit states. “He pushed the chair to a place where no one could see her and went off to a meeting.” Colleagues later managed to free her.
“Defendants did not maintain a serious human resources department,” the lawsuit states.
Attorney Rothman said Jones committed wrongdoing as a FilmOn saleswoman, including signing an agreement on behalf of the company to pay herself commissions.
As for Taylor, he said that while she was represented by another attorney, she’d demanded “more than $2 million” from the defendants. Rothman said he worked out a settlement agreement with the previous attorney to find out what Taylor would accept – though David “never had any intention of paying her.”
The agreement included a provision in which Taylor promised not to file criminal charges against David if he paid her the settlement amount, Rothman said. He said that both Taylor and her attorney at the time signed the agreement.
Rothman said that amounted to extortion.
The settlement agreement “is an extortionate attempt to get money,” Rothman said. “They were willing to sign what they needed to sign to get a check.”
He said the alleged crime has been reported to the Beverly Hills Police Department and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
Attorney Bloom said it was “outrageous that Mr. Rothman would make such a claim.”
She said there has been no effort to arrest or prosecute Taylor, and that it was unethical of Rothman to make such claims in the press.
“I want Mr. Rothman to answer the complaint, and let’s litigate this like all the other women are doing,” Bloom said.
Taylor and Jones seek medical expenses, lost earnings, and punitive damages for sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual battery, disability discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other claims.