A former advertising director at Firmenich perfume has filed a $6 million lawsuit against her manager, Herve Piernini, for comparing her to singer Susan Boyle and harassing her about her appearance in front of other employees, the Daily Mail reports.
The manager, Herve Pierini, allegedly called the employee "fatty," and berated her with other degrading language in the office and at a company parties. The abuse grew so stressful, Ziv says, that she suffered a brain hemorrhage.
The law suit reads:
In January 2010, Pierini taunted Ziv at a party given by an executive of the [company's] biggest client at her home by repeatedly referring to Ziv as 'Susan Boyle,' a Scottish singer who is often taunted in the media as being old, fat and ugly.
Susan Boyle quickly gained fame after shocking judges with an astounding performance of Les Miserable's "I Dreamed A Dream" on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009. The video of her performance has received over 131 million hits on Youtube.
Ziv says that after the Boyle comparison, the harassment grew worse.
Once, when a co-worker skipped lunch, "Pierini remarked to Ziv, in the presence of other employees and for them to hear, 'Not like you, fatty,'" according to legal papers.
The lawsuit claims that the Pierini used verbal harassment to physically harm Ziv. It states:
Pierini intended that his degrading, humiliating and vicious and brutal treatment of Ziv would cause Ziv's blood pressure to rise to a dangerous level and would thus damage Ziv's health, perhaps to the degree of causing her death.
Pierini has been with the company since 1999, and Ziv joined two years later. She took medical leave in June 2013, after which her lawyer filed the complaint against Firmenich perfume.