UPDATED, May 10, 1:40 p.m.: “To act as a Personal Assistant to a wealthy real estate broker, especially in New York City, means putting up with indignities that most people never have to experience.”
That Jane Austen-esque line opens an explosive new lawsuit filed by a former personal assistant to Jared Seligman, who alleges that the star broker forced her to support his drug habit and witness his sexual exploits.
Amy Gagnon, who claims she was fired in December after she voiced her complaints, alleges in the lawsuit that soon after she was hired last May, Seligman tried to “strong arm” her into finding and purchasing illegal drugs for him. On one occasion, while working from Seligman’s home, she claims she witnessed the broker roughly grope his personal physician, who had come by to administer his Botox injections.
“While Ms. Gagnon looked on with horror, Mr. Seligman openly leered at the doctor, telling him, ‘Oooooh you’re so sexy,'” states the May 8 suit, which names both Seligman and Douglas Elliman as defendants. “Mr. Seligman then began to roughly grope the doctor in front of Ms. Gagnon, grabbing his crotch.”
In a statement, Seligman — whose clients have included Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Kirsten Dunst — refused to comment on “scurrilous accusations and will discredit them in the appropriate forum.” An Elliman spokesperson said, “Amy Gagnon was not an employee of, or affiliated with, Douglas Elliman, and was never hired or fired by the company. To our knowledge, Ms. Gagnon was employed personally by Jared Seligman as an assistant.”
According to Gagnon’s suit, which includes a host of salacious details, the incident with Seligman’s doctor was part of the “pervasive sexual harassment” to which the agent allegedly subjected his assistants.
On another occasion, Gagnon claims she was required to work out of Seligman’s apartment while he had “loud and unmistakable sexual intercourse” in a bedroom adjacent to where she was working. Later, Gagnon claims Seligman emerged from his bedroom “wearing nothing but his bathrobe” and smirked at her.
In addition to claims of sexual harassment, Gagnon alleges she wasn’t paid overtime even though she regularly worked 12-hour days, and often fielded drunken phone calls from Seligman, whose Instagram feed documents his friendship with celebrities like Nikki Hilton, as well as his love of dogs and fashion.
Gagnon says in the suit that she was abruptly fired when she complained to her superiors. As a result, she said she’s suffering “severe mental anguish and emotional distress,” and entitled to monetary relief, the amount of which should be determined at trial.
(To read more about Jared Seligman, see his TRData Topics page.)