Mariah Carey is suing her former personal assistant, accusing her of “outright stealing” and of secretly filming intimate and embarrassing videos of the singer as part of an extortion scheme.
Carey filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles against Lianna Azarian, who she said was hired in 2015 to be her executive assistant.
Carey said Azarian was working in a clothing store when she “eagerly accepted the once in a lifetime business opportunity" that came with a $250,000 starting salary that was later upped to $327,000 due to the long hours required.
However, despite the compensation, Carey alleges she learned that Azarian filmed her while engaged in intimate activities that if revealed “would be personally embarrassing and professionally damaging.” The lawsuit does not specify what exactly was filmed.
Azarian, who reportedly showed the videos to her friends and coworkers, was confronted but allegedly refused to turn them over. The lawsuit claims that Azarian told people that if she were ever fired by Carey, she would sell the footage and buy a home.
After Azarian was terminated for repeatedly not showing up to work, she threatened to release the videos unless Mariah gave her $8 million, according to the lawsuit. However, "Mariah refused to be extorted," and had no choice but to take legal action, the complaint adds.
In addition to the alleged recordings, Carey said that Azarian “retains a closet full of expensive clothing and handbags that belong to or were paid for by Mariah."
Carey is asking a judge to declare her the legal owner of the goods and to order Azarian to destroy the videos. She also wants a permanent restraining order preventing Azarian from releasing any footage.
Reps for Carey released a statement saying the new year "welcomes Mariah's continued efforts to clean the trash from her life."
The statement also said that the civil complaint shows that Azarian "turned out to be a grifter and extortionist."
"Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit against her," he said. "Given that the evidence against this former assistant is vast and deplorable, we anticipate a victorious resolution."
Azarian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.