June 30, 2015

What has to happen for a plaintiff to get $18 million in damages for sexual harassment?

"Hanna Bouveng, 25, claimed that New York Global Group owner Benjamin Wey, 43, used his influence to force her into four sexual encounters before firing her after he found her in bed with her boyfriend."
"He puts her on the bed and he has sex with her and it's over in two minutes," attorney David Ratner told jurors.... "She was debased. She was degraded. She was defiled. He was delighted... He thought he owned her."...

A few months after firing her, Wey walked into a café in Stockholm where Bouveng was working. "The message was: 'Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I am going to find you and I am going to get you," Ratner said. "She used to be sociable. ... Now she is afraid to tell people her last name." 
And he blogged:
"Did he write bad articles after that? Were they nasty? Yeah, they were nasty," Wey's lawyer Glenn Colton said, calling the behavior a mistake.

42 comments:

MadisonMan said...

There's nothing in the article about the 4 relationship she was forced into, except the mention that they occurred. Lax reporting.

Brando said...

It's hard to tell not having seen the evidence or testimony, but the jury must have found her story more credible. The lesson here is don't blog!

Rick said...

How could her boss walk in on her having sex with her boyfriend? Did he have a key to her apartment? Or was the sex in the office? The People article doesn't say.

But:

She was fired from the company last year after her boss walked in on her boyfriend lying in her bed in the $3,365-a-month Manhattan apartment Wey had rented for her.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3143596/Hanna-Bouveng-gets-2m-CEO-Benjamin-Wey-hired-got-apartment-slept-fired-boyfriend-bed.html#ixzz3eY7hxFLB

Hmmm. I don't know anyone whose boss rents their apartment for them. She must have been shocked to find such an arrangement included the expectation of sex.

I'm also not surprised I have to go to a British paper to find out what's going on.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What has to happen for a plaintiff to get $18 million in damages for sexual harassment?

Female Jury?

Brando said...

"Hmmm. I don't know anyone whose boss rents their apartment for them. She must have been shocked to find such an arrangement included the expectation of sex."

Yeah, in that way it works against the defendant--it's hard to make people believe that some 25-year old woman starting out at your company was worth renting an apartment for, unless she was some sort of whiz-kid that was too valuable to not offer that perk.

traditionalguy said...

The free market works. Sex is enjoyed by consenting adults. An. Economic stimulus money judgement passes hands and lawyers get paid. What could be wrong with that. Celebrate!

Scott said...

I had a woman try to press a claim of sexual harassment against me through the human resources department. Problem is, I was working in New Jersey and she telecommuted from Ohio, so the implausibility gave me an unfair advantage.

Rick said...

unless she was some sort of whiz-kid that was too valuable to not offer that perk.

Paying an employee's rent is income so there's no tax benefit. Companies don't do this (they might give you extra income and call it a housing allowance for cosmetic reasons, but they'd never pay the rent directly). If it was legitimate why would he have a key? Would any female whiz kid accept an arrangement where her boss had unrestrained access to her apartment? Unthinkable.

it works against the defendant

None of this changes that his actions, presuming they occurred, show him a dirtbag. But that doesn't preclude that she entered into this relationship voluntarily and found a way to manipulate the court into a massive payoff. Think court-enabled V Stiviano.

Laslo Spatula said...

""She was debased. She was degraded. She was defiled..."

Eighteen Million Shades of Green.

I am Laslo.

Curious George said...

What has to happen? First and foremost, she has to be in America...

Michael K said...

"she entered into this relationship voluntarily and found a way to manipulate the court into a massive payoff. "

Bingo !

Laslo Spatula said...

For that kind of money I have to assume that she was pooped upon.

Bukkake might get you a few million, Golden Showers a million or two more, but eighteen million: there was poop involved.


I am Laslo.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Initially she rebuffed him, but they ended up having sex on a cold January night as they were negotiating a deal to use Bouveng's family connections to purchase a Swedish company."

-- So, she was hired for nepotism. If he fired her for refusing sex, then that's definitely illegal. Wey says they never had sex, but paying for an apartment and sharing it with a woman is kind of, well, suspicious on that front.

Of course, if he was just courting a rich client and trying to leverage her into a business deal, that could be a reason.

Ultimately, the two things I've read leave me unconvinced either way. I'd need to have been on the jury to hear the testimony and see the evidence to decide who was telling the truth.

Fernandinande said...

"She was debased. She was degraded. She was defiled. She was delighted... She thought he owned her."

Now she's a high-priced spread. What a joke.

Dead firefighters:
"As part of the second settlement, the 12 families who filed the wrongful-death suit will receive $50,000 per family."
Jews being mean to other Jews:
"An upstate New York school district has agreed to pay $4.48 million and enact broad reforms in curriculum and training to settle a lawsuit by five current and former Jewish students"

damikesc said...

Girl fucks her boss and then sues him.

FEMINISM, baby!

Feminism is such a pathetic little joke. Men need to just stop humoring this bullshit and mocking the women like this.

And it's good to know that we know WHAT she is and WHAT her price is. That's always useful info to have.

MadisonMan said...

I see I misread -- not 4 sexual relationships, 4 sexual relations.

$18M/4: $4.5M each. Plus the rent.

damikesc said...

Looking at her --- I'd fire him for overpaying. THAT is worth 4.5M?

Hell, go to any college and you can find drunk girls who are hotter. Give them a false name and take them to a hotel and have your way with them.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Was that still consensual?"

"It was consensual up until you pooped on me."

"But up until then we were good?"

"Yes, but I would never agree to THAT."

"I'm sorry, I was just in the moment, and it seemed like the next thing to do."

"Well, good for you, I guess, but in the meantime I'm sitting here naked and now have poop on me."

"This IS kind of awkward. I really didn't think this through, you know..."

"Can you, I don't know, get me a towel?"

"A towel?"

"Yeah."

"How about paper towels? They are meant to be disposable."

"You pooped on me and now you are concerned about the care of your towels?"

"Like I said, I didn't really think this thing through."

"What the Hell made you think I'd like that? Is this one of those 'rich guy' things? Like you can treat people however you please and expect to get away with it?"

"Look: I'm sorry. I am sorry that I pooped on you. Knowing what I know now, I would not have pooped on you; If I could take it back, I would."

"I don't think I ever have felt as bad as I do right now."

"Come on, I understand you're upset, but let's not get melodramatic."

"Melodramatic?"

"There are people dying every day of hideous diseases. Everywhere. This was just... some poop."

"This isn't just 'poop' -- this is SHIT."

"Uh, saying it that way, it makes it sound ...dirty."

"What the hell else do you think it is then?"

"An unfortunate sexual miscommunication, maybe?"

"I think I am going to throw up..."

"Let me get a wastebasket..."

"You shit on me and now you're concerned about vomit?"

"I don't want to make the maid's day any worse than it will be already..."


I am Laslo.

Matthew Sablan said...

Even if Wey were telling the truth, I can't blame people for not believing him.

This is why I dislike having one-on-one meetings with women I don't know. A lot of people I know have told me I should NEVER under any circumstances have meetings without a third person and a door open. When I was in college as an RA, it was part of our training that male RAs should never interact with female residents as part of their RA duties without a female RA.

Wey is probably a scumbag; the things we can verify [creepy blog, creepy apartment] paint him as such. But that's still no reason for the average man to walk into a potential time bomb.

Brando said...

"None of this changes that his actions, presuming they occurred, show him a dirtbag. But that doesn't preclude that she entered into this relationship voluntarily and found a way to manipulate the court into a massive payoff. Think court-enabled V Stiviano."

It certainly doesn't preclude that, which is why ultimately the jury had to weigh credibility of each party. But getting this apartment for her (and having his own access to it) does make his claim that their relationship was entirely platonic a tough one to make.

I always say, don't dip your pen in the company ink--I get that it's tempting when you work around someone so much, but for crying out loud--there's plenty of prospects who don't work with you! Nothing you get out of this is worth $18 million, plus your own legal fees.

cubanbob said...

For $18,000,000 I hope for his sake she was a truly magnificent lay. I can't believe a jury would award a whore this much money for simply being a whore.

Char Char Binks said...

A highly paid whore.

Rick said...

Nothing you get out of this is worth $18 million, plus your own legal fees..

It's interesting as a cautionary tale, but I don't feel sorry for this guy (presuming all the statements of fact are accurate). He tried to leverage his money into sex - with someone who wasn't fully into it. Then he went nuts because she was tapping someone else. He thought exclusivity was included for 4k / month? And further he went about this in an incredibly stupid way.

Anyway there are certain ways to do this. You hire a woman - whom you do not have sex with - to manage regular high-end social events (i.e., yacht parties). You invite only guys in on the deal, while she invites only women of a certain character who understand their future invites depend on a guest personally telling the organizer the female guest was key to them enjoying themselves.

Nor do I feel particularly sorry for her (maybe a little - she's young). She agreed to a sugar daddy arrangement but didn't understand herself enough to know she couldn't handle it.

Anonymous said...

Wey, who harassed people in writing, should pay another $18 million for his stupidity.

Without the articles, it would be he-said, she-said. With the articles, he proved himself an arrogant jerk who believed, with a high priced lawyer, he could get away with anything.

Joe said...

The verdict will be appealed and she'll end up with significantly less--I'd wager a few hundred thousand.

William said...

The absolute sine qua non of getting an eighteen million dollar settlement is to make sure that you are sexually abused by a very rich man. So choose your abusers carefully and dress for success.

Anonymous said...

Rick: She agreed to a sugar daddy arrangement but didn't understand herself enough to know she couldn't handle it.

I think she handled it very well, a $18 million well.

But that obnoxious jerk should be taken down a few more pegs. He "penned defamatory articles about Bouveng on his blog" to get himself nailed. "Did he write bad articles after that? Were they nasty? Yeah, they were nasty," his lawyer said. He dug a hole, and kept digging until he could lie in it.

Saint Croix said...

He puts her on the bed and he has sex with her and it's over in two minutes,

Sex with you is awful! It's terrible! It's the worst ever!

And it's too short!

damikesc said...

This is why I dislike having one-on-one meetings with women I don't know. A lot of people I know have told me I should NEVER under any circumstances have meetings without a third person and a door open. When I was in college as an RA, it was part of our training that male RAs should never interact with female residents as part of their RA duties without a female RA.

Which shows what an incredibly stupid idea co-ed dorms ar

And somebody should have told him that sex with hookers was cheaper and likely significantly better.

Saint Croix said...

The use of the word "force" in that article is reprehensible to actual rape victims.

Initially she rebuffed him, but they ended up having sex on a cold January night as they were negotiating a deal to use Bouveng's family connections to purchase a Swedish company.

Rick said...

elkh1 said...
I think she handled it very well, a $18 million well.


I have a hard time believing that was the initial plan. As a fallback it obviously worked out great for her, but I suspect as others do she'll end up with a much smaller payday after appeal.

Rick said...

Saint Croix said...
The use of the word "force" in that article is reprehensible to actual rape victims.


It says quite a bit about sexual harassment victims that this is the best standard bearer they can find. Plus Ellen Pao of course.

Saint Croix said...

A few months after firing her, Wey walked into a café in Stockholm where Bouveng was working.

I did not hear the Court testimony, so I do not know what Wey said to her, if anything. What the article quotes is the plaintiff attorney, who says,

"The message was: 'Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I am going to find you and I am going to get you," Ratner said.

This is the most inflammatory part of the article. You read that and go, "oh, he's so evil!" But this is the plaintiff's attorney, paraphrasing what "the message" was. Why not quote his words? And then I realize that maybe he didn't say anything at all. He just walked into a restaurant where she was working. And the attorney invents this whole evil threatening "message."

Saint Croix said...

Wey denies any sexual relationship with Bouveng, saying she took advantage of his generosity as a mentor and that he fired her after her party-girl lifestyle left her unable to keep up with her work.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for a guy who lies so blatantly. Of course you had a sexual relationship with her, you idiot. Tell the truth!

Why is he denying a sexual relationship? Fear. What is his fear? He suspects there is an ugly bias against him. She is the helpless victim. He is the predator. And so the "helpless victim" steals $16 million from him, and he is now a monster in People.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why not quote his words? And then I realize that maybe he didn't say anything at all. He just walked into a restaurant where she was working. And the attorney invents this whole evil threatening "message."

It depends. He wouldn't necessarily have to say anything. People do do that sort of thing--just happen to show up where the other person is to show that they can find them. And it is threatening.

I can't make any judgments about this case without knowing more.

Char Char Binks said...

If he'd been circumcised, maybe he'd have lasted longer than 2 minutes, and she'd have felt less degraded. One little snip could have saved him millions of dollars.

bbkingfish said...

His own attorney is admitting for publication that Wey is a punk. A guilty, rich, punk.

Depending how wealthy Wey is actually, $16 million might seem proportionate.

Unknown said...

I certainly have no stake in Wey's fate, but I have to oppose giving the little quiff the boodle. I'm sure a grand a lay would be ample, you could give the rest to an animal shelter, a more worthy cause.

David Begley said...

How much money did Paula Jones get from Bill Clinton?

David Begley said...

Verdict amount a function of unlikable defendant who worked on the Street and poor jury selection by defense counsel.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

She sued him for $850 million!.

I'm not even sure I can do this math. Two minutes of sex, multiplied by four sexual encounters, equal eight minutes of bad sex, working out to $100 million dollars a minute.

Try some foreplay next time, buddy!