Attorney Alina Habba represents ex-President Donald Trump in many battles with New York Attorney General Letitia James. Now, Habba is being sued by its former paralegal and sole Black employee Na’Syia Drayton for racist harassment. One of Drayton’s key allegations is that Habba and law firm partner Michael Madaio used the N-word repeatedly to “pump up” before court appearances involving Trump cases.
Drayton worked for Habba and Madaio from November of last year to this June, her complaint states. She says that she enjoyed the job—until she experienced how Habba and Madaio prepared attorneys for legal battles on Trump’s behalf. The white lawyers crowded into an office with the door open and then blasted rap music with lyrics that Drayton found offensive, misogynistic and racist.
The lyrics that Drayton particularly hated hearing her white bosses try to rap are attached to the suit filed August 19. They include Ruff Ryders’ Anthem by DMX, a gritty look at Black-on-Black violence. Also attached is Lil Wayne’s Rich Ass Fu@k which opens with, “AK on the nightstand right next to my Bible, But I swear with these 50 shots I’ll shoot it out with 5-0”. The lyrics go on to describe how much “hoes” want the rapper’s “hosepipe” and their preferred sexual position.
Subsequent verses describe how much the rapper enjoys killing “hoes.”
Also attached is Lil Wayne’s Lollipop — with lyrics that focus on oral sex. A rap by Kanye West and Jay Z was also included.
The complaint’s exhibits include a copy of Drayton’s June 9 email to Habba in which she explains that she isn’t hiding in her office because the firm’s other rooms are too cold.
“Truthfully, the main reason I stay secluded is because I am uncomfortable,” Drayton wrote.
She cited a time when New York attorney general Letitia James ruled against Habba, who allegedly stormed down the hall yelling, “I hate that Black bitch.” Drayton also recalled a time the attorneys prepped for a Trump case with a rap song and Habba called to Drayton to join them because she would like the music.
Drayton pointed out that because she is Black does not mean she likes those lyrics.
The complaint says that Drayton admired Habba’s “strong work ethic” but feared her “explosive temper.” When Habba was displeased with subordinates, the complaint says that she would stalk around the room saying, “I have a feeling that somebody here is going to be fired today.”
Drayton’s lawsuit also accuses Habba of making “derogatory, anti-Semitic remarks about another attorney in the office (repeatedly, disdainfully referring to him as a “cheap Jew”).”
Drayton claims anti-Semitic remarks were made at least once in front of the firm’s Jewish human resources director who would wait till Habba was out of the room and then roll her eyes over what was said.
Drayton says that Habba maintained that she could not be a racist because she was “an Arab” which Habba characterized as nonwhite. Habba also told Drayton that Habba had consulted her other Black employee, her chauffeur, who told her that he loved rap, especially Kanye West, and often played it as he drove her to appointments.
Drayton resigned on June 14.