American Dream owner Triple Five Group hit with sexual harassment suit

Former employee claims she was propositioned by top exec, terminated in retaliation

A photo illustration of Triple Five Group's Paul Ghermezian (Getty Images, Triple Five Group)
A photo illustration of Triple Five Group's Paul Ghermezian (Getty Images, Triple Five Group)

The American Dream mall has been sued by a former employee who claims she was sexually harrassed by executives and let go after reporting the incidents.

In a lawsuit filed in New Jersey state court last week, former marketing staffer Kristen Kruczowy claims she was subjected to harassment by multiple male colleagues as well as a member of the Ghermezian family, the Canadian retail magnates who own the mall, reported.

Kruczowy alleges she was propositioned by Paul Ghermezian, a board member of mall owner Triple Five Group, at a concert in December. Ghermezian made sexual remarks and asked for her to join him in a luxury suite, the lawsuit alleges, but warned her that she would need to sign an NDA.

Triple Five CEO Don Ghermezian, Paul’s brother, was aware of the situation but took no action to stop it, the lawsuit alleges.

A month earlier the owner of a sports bar in the mall, made unwanted sexual advances towards her during a different concert, Kruczowy claims.

In a statement to, American Dream said it does not tolerate harassment, discrimination or retaliation and called Kruczowy’s action “a frivolous lawsuit by a disgruntled former employee who was properly terminated.”

Kruczowy, who started working at the mall in February 2021, claims she and a colleague who was also subjected to sexual advances were the only two employees let go in a June restructuring.

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Other incidents alleged in the suit include unwanted advances from a mall supervisor and a racist comment from a mall executive regarding Kruczowy’s career advancement.

Kruczowy seeks a jury trial, damages and reinstatement to her job with back pay. She also wants the mall to adopt anti-harassment policies and have an outside group audit its handling of harassment cases.

The much-ballyhooed mall has faced financial difficulties almost since construction began in 2004, leading to missed payments and unhappy investors. Last month, the mall missed an $8.8 million payment on municipal bonds after New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority didn’t release the necessary funds.

In June, Triple Five failed to make a semiannual payment on an $800 million municipal bond on time. The mall operator has also been seeking a four-year extension to pay off $1.7 billion in construction financing.

Last year, the mall lost $60 million, accumulating $232 million in expenses against $173 million in revenue. It recorded $305 million in sales for the year, roughly 15 percent of the initial $2 billion goal for its first year of operation.

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— Holden Walter-Warner