LOS ANGELES (CN) - Todd Shemarya, a high-profile Hollywood talent agent who represents Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, harassed an assistant with racial slurs and pornographic after persuading her to abandon her previous career with promises that she would become a talent agent, says the assistant in Superior Court. He then fired her by email so she could "pursue her dreams."
Todd Shemarya Artists bills itself as the "number one" talent agency in the world, and represents Hollywood heavyweights such as Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Natalie Portman, the complaint states.
Plaintiff Heather Devlin says Todd Shemarya talked her into abandoning her $100,000-a-year job as a Rodeo Drive Gucci store saleswoman for a $30,000 job as his assistant. She says Shemarya promised her a secure job that would lead to a career as a talent agent for top Hollywood celebrities.
Instead, Devlin says, Shemarya terrorized her with racist and sexist language, fired male employees for refusing to date him, stole from clients, and harassed her by arranging that the only office bathroom lacked a door during her entire 6 years on the job. She says Shemarya fired her after she refused to help him steal from clients.
Devlin says Shemarya forced her to use the doorless bathroom and used it himself, exposing his genitals in the process. She says he made her take dictation while he urinated. She claims he "paraded naked at TSA's offices and exposed himself to her while he urinated or defecated at work."
She says Shemarya often displayed pornographic pictures at work.
"Shemarya frequently pulled out the August 1997 edition of 'Playgirl' magazine," which features nude photos of Brad Pitt, the complaint states. Devlin says Shemarya called Pitt, an agency client, his "golden goose," while ridiculing the size of his penis.
Shemarya installed a video of a woman performing oral sex on a horse on Devlin's computer, according to the lawsuit. She says her computer was subsequently flooded with pornographic spam.
She says Shemarya's conduct touched off a porn-downloading war, in which other agency employees installed pornography on her computer, "not to be outdone" by Shemarya.
Devlin claims that Shemarya stole jewelry and money from Brad Pitt by keeping cash and merchandise payments Shemarya brokered from Damini Jewelers in exchange for Pitt's advertising work. She says Shemarya exploited his position in other ways, such as telling workers at fashion label Coach that Pitt wanted a Coach garment bag. Coach gave Shemarya a free bag for Pitt, but Shemarya allegedly gave the bag to his boyfriend.
Shemarya regularly used racist and sexist language to refer to clients, employees and the general public, Devlin says.
Shemarya allegedly called Jewish clients "Chizlers," routinely referred to women as "cunts" and called the agency's black clients "Niggers." Shemarya called Jennifer Aniston's yoga instructor her "lesbian girlfriend," called Salma Hayek a "twat," and suggested that Hayek "should go back to Mexico" after she ended her business relationship with the agency, according to the lawsuit.
Shemarya allegedly sent himself flowers and told everyone that the flowers were a gift from the pop star George Michaels.
Devlin says Shemarya instructed agency employees to use the company's petty cash to buy drugs. He intercepted expensive gifts that designers sent for agency clients Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, gave DiCaprio and Pitt the gifts as if Shemarya had bought them, and then sent fake thank you notes to the designers, according to the complaint.
Devlin says Shemarya fired her with a long-winded email when she refused to participate in similar schemes.
In the email, Shemarya allegedly say he was firing Devlin because he knew she was "bored," and wanted to "explore." Shemarya allegedly told Devlin that he knew she had "other dreams" and that her job "only held her back from not only pursuing those but realizing what they are."
She says Shemarya refused to pay her severance and forced her to sign a confidentiality agreement about his illegal activities. She says he then promoted his boyfriend to her former position, despite his lack of qualifications and his "disastrous" work performance.
Devlin is represented by Keith Fink.Follow @@karinapdx
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