Hours after news broke that Carey had filed a $3 million suit against her former executive assistant, Lianna Shakhnazaryan, for violating their non-disclosure agreement, the ex-employee fired back with a lengthy lawsuit of her own, accusing Carey, and her former manager, Stella Bulochnikov, for a litany of alleged claims.
The laundry list of allegations includes wrongful termination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, racial discrimination, sexual harassment, failure to pay earned wages upon termination, breach of oral contract, rescission of contract, violation of the Bane Act, violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
According to the lawsuit obtained by ET, Shakhnazaryan claims she began working as Carey’s assistant in September 2015, and allegedly had an oral employment agreement to be paid $328,500 annually.
Shakhnazaryan claims in the suit that she was “required to meet constant demands of great magnitude and often on incredibly short time demands,” and that she also served as a personal assistant to Bulochnikov and coordinator between the manager and the singer.
The former personal assistant alleges that she was “subjected to severe, pervasive, sexual, derogatory, offensive, physically abusive and outrageous conduct by [Bulochnikov],” allegedly including being referred to as “a f**king Armenian whore,” among other racially charged insults.
Shakhnazaryan claims she was also subjected to “acts of physical abuse” including the “slapping of [her] buttocks and breasts,” as well as allegedly being tackled to the ground by Bulochnikov and “urinated upon in the presence of others on multiple occasions.”
The documents also accuse Bulochnikov of making repeated offensive sexual and derogatory comments regarding her Armenian heritage, and repeated ridicule directed toward Shakhnazaryan’s physical appearance.
The assistant claims Carey “had knowledge of the [conduct], as much of such improper conduct was carried out against [Shakhnazaryan] with Carey’s knowledge, permission and/or in Carey’s presence.”
She also alleges that not only Carey but others employed by her witnessed the acts and did nothing to stop or prevent them. Furthermore, Shakhnazaryan claims she directly reported Bulochnikov’s alleged behavior to Carey and was terminated “in direct response” to her complaint.
Shakhnazaryan’s suit ultimately claims that she “suffered and continues to suffer severe emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment” as a result of Bulochnikov’s alleged actions.
Regarding her accusations of battery, the former assistant claims that she was “subjected to aggressive, abusive and harmful physical conduct by Carey… [which was] performed… with the intent to harm and/or offend” Shakhnazaryan, while she was allegedly living at Carey’s home from November 2015 through “the middle of 2017” as required by the terms of her employment.
Shakhnazaryan is seeking compensatory damages “including lost wages, past and future earnings [and] unpaid overtime,” as well as money for “physical injury, mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress,” along with general damages, attorney’s fees, the cost of the lawsuit, and punitive damages. She is also demanding a trial by jury.
The shocking allegations made in her suit come following Carey’s own lawsuit, in which Shakhnazaryan is accused of being “a grifter, a Peeping Tom and an extortionist.”
Carey’s lawsuit alleges that Shakhnazaryan secretly filmed her without her knowledge or permission, which if revealed would be personally embarrassing and professionally damaging to her.
Carey’s lawsuit also alleges Shakhnazaryan displayed the intimate videos for her friends and co-workers, then “threatened to release the videos, and other sensitive, private information, unless Mariah provided her $8,000,000,” adding that Shakhnazaryan had allegedly been blackmailing the singer.
In a statement to ET, Carey’s rep continued to claim that the allegations and evidence made in the lawsuit is “vast and deplorable.”
“This new year welcomes Mariah’s continued efforts to clean the trash from her life,” the statement reads. “Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit against her. Given that the evidence against this former assistant is vast and deplorable, we anticipate a victorious resolution. Mariah continues her streak of success this year with an upcoming North American tour and return to Vegas.”
Shakhnazaryan’s attorney, Mark Quigley, released a statement to ET on Wednesday, staunchly denying the claims made in Carey’s lawsuit and reiterating accusations leveled by his client.
“These baseless allegations are an attempt to attack my client’s character and deflect attention away from a workplace harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit she filed today against her former employer, Mariah Carey. My client never did anything she wasn’t specifically asked to do while working in the course and scope of her job as a personal assistant. Her lawsuit is about holding her employer accountable for severely inappropriate behavior that caused tremendous stress and emotional turmoil.”
Notably, earlier this month, Carey settled her own high-profile legal battle with Bulochnikov.
Last April, Bulochnikov filed documents against Carey — approximately five months after being fired by the singer — accusing her of sexual harassment and breach of contract. Carey vehemently denied the claims.
According to court documents obtained by ET, the two parties reached a mutually agreed resolution to the matter, and Bulochnikov agreed to discontinue the action against Carey “with prejudice, with each party to bear its own attorneys’ fees and costs.”