Judge clears trial of Filipina nanny suing Sharon Stone for racist abuse
A US judge cleared the way Friday for a Filipina former nanny of Sharon Stone to go to trial against the US actress for wrongful dismissal and harassment, including racist abuse.
Lawyers for Erlinda Elemen, who worked as a live-in nanny for the “Basic Instinct” star until she was sacked in 2011, announced last year that she was suing the actress.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel ruled that Elemen’s lawyers had provided enough evidence to support her allegations of harassment, failure to prevent harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.
“We’re pleased that the judge recognized that the plaintiff’s claims should proceed,” said lawyer Solomon Gresen, adding: “We look forward to our July trial date.”
The trial is tentatively set for July 30.
Stone’s lawyers sought to have the case dismissed, arguing that comments by the actress did not amount to harassment.
“All we have is that Ms Stone made comments about Filipino food, Filipino accents,” said lawyer Daniel Gutenplan.
When the lawsuit was announced in May, the actress’s publicist slammed the legal action as “absurd,” claiming the ex-nanny was simply trying to “cash in” on Stone.
The lawsuit claimed the star equated being Filipino with being stupid, and ordered her not to speak in front of her children so they would not “talk like you.”
Stone also banned Elemen from reading the Bible in Stone’s home, even though she lived with her to look after the actress’s three children, and frequently traveled with them.
From August 2010, Elemen “was repeatedly subjected to repeated derogatory comments and slurs by (Stone) related to her Filipino ethnicity and heritage,” said the 17-page lawsuit.
Elemen, who was hired in October 2006 and was promoted to head live-in nanny two years later, was dismissed in February 2011, after Stone learned she was paid overtime when traveling with the children and on holiday days.
Stone told her nanny that she had no right to overtime pay, and accused Elemen of “‘stealing’ from her by taking the… overtime pay,” telling her it was “illegal” to have taken the extra pay and demanding the money back, court documents showed.
The lawsuit asks for an unspecified amount for unpaid wages, damages and penalties, and is seeking trial by jury.
In 2011, the actress was ordered to pay $232,000 in compensation to a worker who injured his knee after slipping and falling in her backyard in 2006.