An attorney for former Newmark Knight Frank executive Michael Arnold says “Jane Doe,” the anonymous woman who sued him for alleged sexual harassment in April, has no right to anonymity.
In a motion filed Friday, attorney Tara-Jane Flynn argues that, because of the anonymity of the accuser, Arnold and his family are “handcuffed from defending their reputation.”
Meanwhile, the high-profile legal team for Jane Doe can freely argue her case through the media, Flynn’s motion alleges. Doe’s lawyers tweeted out the complaint within hours of its filing and unfairly tweeted out photos of Arnold’s wife of 17 years, who is not a not a party in the case, Flynn said.
Flynn’s motion also argues for the dismissal of the case, contending that Jane Doe did not go through the proper legal procedures before filing suit. Namely, Doe did not obtain so-called “Right-to-sue” letters from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for all of the defendants before taking to the courts. Under California law, she was required to obtain the letters, Flynn claims.
Doe’s attorney Mark Geragos, who has represented celebrities such as Michael Jackson, called the motion “pathetic.”
“Mike Arnold is a sexual predator,” he told The Real Deal. “We will seek sanctions and fees for this frivolous motion. These obvious and pathetic legal tactics confirm that both Arnold and his employer and legal team need to be taught a lesson. We will happily educate them.”
In a statement, Flynn said: “The motion we filed is warranted and personal intimidation tactics don’t work –and that is the crux of the motion. As attorneys we must rise above and hold ourselves to a professional standard.”
She alleged Geragos was defaming her client.
A spokesperson for NKF was not immediately available for comment.
In the lawsuit, Jane Doe alleged she was repeatedly sexually harassed, ogled and even stalked by senior executives at NKF’s Los Angeles offices. Doe filed for damages against NKF, Arnold, NKF’s director of operations John Picard and senior managing director David Kutzer in a total of eight complaints. Kutzer was later dismissed as a defendant.
Kutzer said he couldn’t comment on the basis for the dismissal, but noted that NKF had cleared him of any wrongdoing when it conducted its own investigation.
The suit included five counts against Arnold, including allegations that he repeatedly made unwanted advances towards and sexual comments to Doe, both at the office and at the International Council of Shopping Centers annual conference in Las Vegas.
Doe said she notified Picard of the behavior. But, rather than helping her, he simply transferred her to another office, according to the allegations.
Arnold left NKF last November, landing at NAI Global.