Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of work environments, but individuals in California who provide private services in people’s homes are even more at risk. Those people do not always enjoy the same corporate protection provided by large companies, even if other firms employ them. Sexual harassment claims are perhaps more easily dismissed among this population, primarily because evidence in these cases is strictly circumstantial.
Famed actor John Travolta has been accused of sexual harassment by a massage therapist, according to recently filed court documents. The man has accused the actor of creating a hostile work environment as a result of his offensive actions, which the masseur says included Travolta touching his own genitals after he had removed his clothing for the massage.
The man is suing Travolta in federal court for assault and sexual battery after the actor allegedly attempted to have sex with the masseur after a massage treatment.
Travolta also reportedly requested that the massage therapist participate in a three-way sexual encounter with himself and a Hollywood starlet who was in the same building.
According to the court filings, the massage therapist immediately asked to be returned to the location where he had been picked up. Travolta then paid him $800 for the service, which is double what the man generally charges, ostensibly as hush money to prevent him from speaking out about the incident.
Travolta’s media team has vehemently denied the claims, asserting that none of the actions ever occurred. They say that the alleged victim has refused to give his name because he knows the accusations are patently false. According to the defendant’s attorneys, Travolta was in another state on the date of the supposed event, and he has documentation to prove his whereabouts.
Travolta’s lawyers also say they intend to pursue a malicious prosecution charge if they succeed in having the suit thrown out. The plaintiff is seeking a settlement of more than $2 million, along with court costs and other unspecified compensatory funds.
Source: The Oakland Tribune, “Hicks: John Travolta sued for sexual harassment,” Tony Hicks, Contra Costa Times, May 7, 2012