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Kobe Bryant's ex-housekeeper sues, accuses Vanessa Bryant of harassment

March 25, 2009 | 12:26 pm

Kobebryant A former housekeeper for Lakers  superstar Kobe Bryant is suing him and his wife, Vanessa, contending that she was verbally abused and humiliated while she worked at the Bryants' Newport Coast home.

Maria Jimenez, an immigrant originally from Peru, filed a lawsuit March 20 in Orange County Superior Court, her lawyer said. Jimenez claims Vanessa Bryant badgered and harassed Jimenez and forced her to perform demeaning tasks.

Jimenez worked 60 hours a week in Bryants' home from September 2007 to March 2008, cleaning their house, washing their laundry and cleaning up after their children. The lawsuit alleges that Vanessa Bryant called Jimenez "lazy," "slow," "dumb," a "liar" and also used profanity.

On one occasion, the lawsuit alleged, Vanessa Bryant screamed at Jimenez after one of the Bryants' children came to her for comfort: "I don't want you to touch my baby. I hired you for housekeeping, not babysitting." After Jimenez complained about her workload and not having breaks, Vanessa Bryant said to Jimenez, "You haven't done anything."

Jimenez claimed that Vanessa Bryant suggested that Jimenez had stolen clothes, a toy, and her retainer from the Bryants.

Jimenez also alleged that Vanessa Bryant screamed at her for putting a $690 blouse in the washing machine, and demanded Jimenez put her hand in a bag of dog feces to retrieve the price tag for the blouse. Jimenez refused and said she would quit, but Vanessa Bryant demanded that she pay for the blouse first. Jimenez alleged she stayed on to pay for the blouse.

In the lawsuit, Jimenez said she suffered damages of more than $20,000.

-- My-Thuan Tran

More on the story at KTLA News, including the complaint.

Photo: Vanessa and Kobe Bryant in 2004 at the American Music Awards. Photo: Carlo Allegri / Getty Images