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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Woman Says Coca-Cola Heir Assaulted Her

LOS ANGELES (CN) - TV host Alki David, an heir to a Coca-Cola fortune, assaulted a woman on the air, grabbing her by her underwear and throwing her into a plastic bin, the woman claims in court.

Monica D'Onofrio sued Alki David Productions, Filmon.com., and Alkiviades David aka Alki David, in Superior Court. David inherited his late father's interest in the Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling and distributing company, according to business publications.

D'Onofrio seeks damages on nine counts, including assault, battery, sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.

D'Onofrio claims she began working for David as a media coordinator in June, then worked on the live show he hosts, "The Funny News Network," until she was fired in October.

D'Onofrio say David attacked her at a studio in Beverly Hills on Oct. 19 after cameras followed him off set and into a control room where she was working.

"(W)ith cameras rolling on him, at his direction, entered the control room, and, in a rage, grabbed a male employee in the crotch, then threw him into the wall. He then grabbed a second male employee by the head and pushed it onto the desk," D'Onofrio says in the 24-page complaint.

"He then turned to plaintiff, approached plaintiff, and maneuvered himself so that plaintiff could not move in any direction without passing by defendant David. Plaintiff put her hands up in a defensive posture and without any warning, defendant David forcibly and violently grabbed the back of plaintiff's shirt collar and neck with one hand, lifting her out of her chair, then reached inside the back of plaintiff's pants and grabbed the top of plaintiff's underwear with the other hand, and forcibly 'frog walked' her out of the control room where she was working, along a hallway approximately twenty feet, and forcibly and violently threw plaintiff into a plastic bin."

D'Onofrio says that she neither consented to "any touching" nor agreed to appear on the show, broadcast live on David's KILM TV Channel 64, and his Filmon.com Internet network.

She says that when she complained about David's "sexual advances" she was told to "keep her objections to herself" and then fired in retaliation.

Though she was a full-time employee, D'Onofrio says, her employers paid her without deducting taxes, never paid her overtime, and did not provide her with required rest breaks.

In addition to damages, she seeks medical expenses, lost earnings, and an injunction against broadcast or distribution of the alleged attack.

She is represented by Robert Manuwal of Woodland Hills.

(Editor's note: David responded on Saturday, Nov., 10, in an email to Courthouse News, after this story had been archived. He included a link to comments he had made to Shockya.com, where he said D'Onforio knew she was part of an on-air prank.

("If anyone looks at the video they can clearly see that we were all having fun and there was no intent to harm to offend Ms. D'Onofrio or any other of the employees," according to the email. "In fact, Ms. D'Onofrio can be seen laughing throughout the event. It is fortunate that we have the entire incident on video so everyone can see for themselves."

(A video of the incident was embedded at the Shockya.

(David added in the email: "Ms. D'Onofrio was never fired, she was always ready to be on camera, she was well aware of the vibe of the whole place as being fun and loud. She got plenty of lunch and rest breaks, she got her taxes paid once the system was set up, she was never told to be quiet about any incident and most importantly I never harassed her.")

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