- (Photo: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili)
Sharon Stone's former nanny has filed a lawsuit alleging that the star repeatedly harassed her for her ethnic background and took advantage of her by violating labor laws. Stone's attorney refutes the claims, saying they are "made-up and fabricated."
Erlinda Elemen has worked for Stone for over four years but was let go in February 2011, papers filed in the suit state. She is Filipino and says that Stone "repeatedly subjected [her] to numerous comments and slurs related to her Filipino ethnicity and heritage."
As one example, Elemen claims, "she was told not to speak to the children because Stone did not want her children to 'talk like you.' In addition, Stone made comments which equated with Filipino being called stupid."
Stone reportedly did not consent to pay Elemen overtime, and when she learned that her accountant was paying it without her permission, she "accused Elemen of 'stealing' from her by taking the above-described overtime pay, told Elemen that it was 'illegal' for her to have taken the pay, and asked for it back."
When Elemen refused to give the pay back, "Stone then began to repeatedly berate Elemen in front of her staff, guests and others, for a period of approximately three weeks, for no other reason than Elemen had received overtime pay," papers state.
Elemen was let go soon after that time. Her lawyer, Solomon Gresen, told TheWrap.com he hopes the suit "will be of benefit to others and will prompt some change in the lives of ordinary citizens. A common problem for employees in household occupations concerns the receipt of overtime and other wages," he explained.
"When a celebrity does it, it only serves to draw attention to the fact that there are thousands of people who are underpaid. It's unfortunate when a California employee has to endure harassment, particularly a live-in employee who has little power to avoid the behavior," the attorney added.
Stone, however, has told CNN that Elemen is "obviously looking for another opportunity to cash in. After she was terminated approximately one-and-a-half years ago, she filed claims for alleged disability and workers compensation. This is a frivolous lawsuit for absurd claims that are made-up and fabricated."