LOS ANGELES (CN) – A high-ranking executive claims a senior vice president of Castle & Cooke sexually harassed her and forced her to book trips for interns and other women to visit him – and to pay for them herself. She claims Justin Murdock also threatened to fire her and kill her, and forced her to use her own email address to open a Facebook account for him under the name “Cobra McJingleballs.”
Carissa Schumacher sued Castle & Cooke, NovaRx and Justin Murdock in Superior Court. Schumacher says she was “jointly employed” as director of corporate development for Castle & Cooke and NovaRx, a biotech pharmaceutical company.
Murdock was CEO of NovaRx and senior vice president of investment for Castle & Cooke, according to the complaint.
Schumacher says Murdock bombarded her with derogatory comments about women and forced her to arrange for women to visit him at his home – often on her own dime.
“Throughout her employment, Murdock demanded Ms. Schumacher to arrange hotel rooms, plane tickets and dates for Murdock and potential ‘interns’ or models for alleged NovaRx photo shoots,” the complaint states. “Murdock required Ms. Schumacher to use her own credit card for hotel and flight charges. Murdock often refused to reimburse Ms. Schumacher for these expenses she incurred pursuant to his requests. On the rare occasions when Murdock did pay her back, it was only after Ms. Schumacher had made repeated requests for reimbursement, while putting up with a litany of insults and requests from Murdock.”
Schumacher claims Murdock repeatedly called women “whores,” told her, “You look like a whore,” and told her that she needed “a good pounding.”
Schumacher’s complaint cites several other graphic quotations she attributes to Murdock, including what might be called deviant sexual practices.
For instance, while helping Murdock plan a Halloween party, she claims Murdock showed her a pornographic video, which she told him was “disgusting.” She says he replied, “‘You know you love it.’ Murdock refused to drop the topic, and volunteered, ‘I was ass-fucking this bird and she shit all over the room. I liked it,'” according to the complaint.
She says she reported “Murdock’s hostile, derogatory, and offensive behavior” to human resources and the Castle & Cooke treasurer, but “No action was taken.”
After describing more humiliating behavior she had to endure, Schumacher claims that 20 minutes before “an important meeting at UCLA to prevent tissue samples from NovaRx research and development, Murdock called her and said “that he had a young girl over at his house, in his bed, and wanted Ms. Schumacher to get rid of the girl.”
The complaint continues: “Murdock stated, ‘You keep opening your pie-hole. What the fuck do you mean you don’t want to? Shut up and pay for her flight. Make something up. I don’t want her around here. Put it on your [credit] card. Tell her I’m traveling or something.” Ms. Schumacher panicked because she and Murdock were already running late. Not wanting to miss the meeting, Ms. Schumacher went online and purchased a ticket for the girl.” (Brackets in complaint.)
Schumacher says that when she tried to stand up to Murdock she received threats of death and termination. When she refused “unreasonable demands” to run personal errands for him, she says Murdock told her that her job description was “to be under my desk sucking my cock.”
She adds, “Murdock’s harassment was coupled with death threats and threats of termination. For example, Murdock told Ms. Schumacher on repeated occasions, ‘If NovaRx fails, I’ll put you at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in concrete boots.’ On other occasions, Murdock told Ms. Schumacher that if NovaRx failed, he would make sure that she never got a job again.”
Schumacher claims that the constant harassment gave her severe anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, forcing her to take leave form work.
She seeks punitive damages for harassment and sexual harassment against Murdock and failure to prevent and aiding harassment from Castle & Cooke and NovaRx.
She is represented by Michael Bononi.