Spokesman for Sharon Stone calls suit 'absurd' and 'frivolous'
A spokesman for Sharon Stone dismisses as "absurd" and "frivolous" a lawsuit filed against the actress by a former live-in housekeeper and nanny alleging religious and ethnic bias as well as violations of state labor law.
The nine-page civil complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Erlinda T. Elemen alleges that the "Basic Instinct" and "Casino" star made comments that equated being Filipino with being stupid. The suit also alleges that Stone told Elemen not to speak in front of her children so they would "not talk like you."
The suit also alleges that when Stone found out that her staff had paid the nanny overtime, the actress accused Elemen of "stealing," said it was "illegal" for her to have taken the money and asked for it back.
But late Wednesday afternoon, Paul Bloch, Stone's spokesman, fired back, saying his client will be "completely vindicated in court." He described the suit as "frivolous."
"This is an absurd lawsuit that has been filed by a disgruntled ex-employee who is obviously looking to get money any way she can," Bloch said in a statement. "After she was terminated approximately 1½ years ago, she filed claims for alleged disability and worker's compensation. Now, she is obviously looking for another opportunity to cash in."
Elemen's suit claims the actress made repeated derogatory comments about her Filipino heritage and religious beliefs.
The suit, which asks for an unspecified amount for unpaid wages, damages and penalties, alleges the award-winning actress repeatedly criticized Elemen’s "deeply held religious beliefs" and her frequent church attendance. She also once forbade the live-in nanny to read the Bible in Stone’s house.
Elemen's attorney, Solomon Gresen, said Stone made Elemen "feel as if her ethnicity was offensive and would somehow adversely effect her children's upbringing."
Eleman was hired by Stone in October 2006, working as an assistant nanny caring for one of the 54-year-old actress' three children, the suit alleges. Two years later, Elemen was promoted to head nanny and began caring for all three children, which included extensive travel and living at Stone's home.
She was fired in February 2011 when Stone learned that she was paid overtime, the suit alleges. State law requires that nonsalaried employees be paid extra for any work over eight hours per day or 40 hours per week.
-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter.com/anblanx)
Photo: Sharon Stone this year. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press