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article imageEx-nanny sues actress Sharon Stone for racist, abusive behavior

By Yukio Strachan     May 25, 2012 in Entertainment
A former nanny employed by Sharon Stone filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing the Basic Instinct star of harassment, allegedly telling the nanny to stop speaking to her children so that they wouldn't "talk like her."
Stone, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in "Casino," called it "an absurd lawsuit" with "made-up and fabricated" claims, filed by "a disgruntled ex-employee who is obviously looking to get money any way she can," CNN reports.
It all started when Erlinda Elemen, who is Filipino, began working for Stone in October of 2006. She was hired to act as an assistant nanny to one of Stone's three children.
Gawker writes that in September of 2008, around the time Stone lost custody of her oldest son, Roan, Elemen was promoted to "head nanny"—a live-in position.
Elemen worked as a live-in nanny for the actress until she was fired in February 2011, the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court Wednesday said.
According to the BBC, the legal action alleges that Elemen was fired because she refused to give back overtime pay that Stone told her she did not deserve.
Stone told her it was only in January 2011 that she learned from her accountant that she was paying her overtime when she worked holidays or traveled to care for her three children, the suit said.
Stone told her nanny that she had no right to overtime pay, and "accused Plaintiff of 'stealing' from her by taking the ... overtime pay, told Plaintiff that it was 'illegal' .. to have taken the pay, and asked for the money back," the court filing said.
Elemen refused to give the overtime pay back, arguing it was required by state and federal labor laws, the suit said.
"Defendant Stone then began to repeatedly berate Plaintiff in front of her staff, guests and others, for a period of approximately three weeks, for no other reason than Plaintiff had received overtime pay as hereinabove alleged," it said.
The nanny was fired "shortly thereafter," the lawsuit said.
The suit claims the nanny was "repeatedly subjected to numerous derogatory comments and slurs by Stone related to her Filipino ethnicity and heritage" during the last six months of her employment.
From August 2010, Ms Elemen "was repeatedly subjected to repeated derogatory comments and slurs by (Stone) related to her Filipino ethnicity and heritage", the 17-page lawsuit said.
"These statements included ... comments about Plaintiff's Filipino accent (i.e. Plaintiff was instructed to refrain from speaking to the children because Defendant did not want them to 'talk like you'), comments about Filipino food, and comments which equated being Filipino with being stupid," it said.
The lawsuit also charged that Stone was "repeatedly verbally dismissive of Elemen's deeply held religious beliefs, criticized Elemen for frequently attending church and, on one occasion, even forbade her live in nanny from reading the bible in Stone's house."
Elemen sought and was given approval from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to sue Stone for an unspecified sum for unpaid wages, damages and penalties, the suit said.
Her Attorney Solomon Gresen told the L.A Times that she just could not cope with Stone's hostility.
"Through her conduct, the actress made Elemen feel as if her ethnicity was offensive and would somehow adversely affect her children's upbringing," Gresen said. "My client felt she was powerless to stop the behavior."
"A common problem for employees in household occupations concerns the receipt of overtime and other wages. When a celebrity does it, it only serves to draw attention to the fact that there are thousands of people who are being underpaid. Hopefully, the publicity generated from this lawsuit will be of benefit to others and will prompt some change in the lives of ordinary citizens," Gresen told the Wrap.
“This is a frivolous lawsuit for absurd claims that are made-up and fabricated,” Stone’s publicist, Paul Bloch, said in a statement, the Miami Herald reports. Bloch claims that Elemen is just seeking an "opportunity to cash in".
Bloch called Elemen a "disgruntled former employee", adding that shortly after she was "terminated approximately one-and-a-half years ago, she filed claims for alleged disability and workers compensation," Stone said in a statement to CNN.
"Sharon Stone will be completely vindicated in court," Bloch wrote, in a statement.
Elemen's spokesman, Eric Rose, responded: "We can't wait to see Ms Stone in court."
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