“Out-of-control boss" faces second sexual harassment lawsuit
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
August 19, 2019
LOS ANGELES—The second multimillion-dollar sexual harassment trial against producer, entrepreneur, and billionaire heir Alki David got underway this morning in Los Angeles Superior Court.
David, 51, founder of FilmOn.TV Networks and the Hologram USA Theater, is accused by his former employee, Elizabeth Taylor, 32, of multiple incidents of demeaning, dangerous, and sexually-exploitative treatment.
Taylor’s allegations include David’s groping her during a work-related conversation, tying her body to a chair with computer wire, sending sexually explicit texts to a high-profile client from her phone, and holding her upside-down by her ankles.
In addition, the complaint alleges David pressured Taylor into falsifying an insurance form.
“This is a case of an out-of-control boss,” Taylor’s attorney Lisa Bloom declared in her opening statement.
During her emotional testimony—which elicited both tears and looks of disgust from the jury—Taylor claimed that David once approached her from behind while she sat at her desk, held her shoulders back, and essentially forced her to watch the pornographic viral video “Two Girls, One Cup,” —notorious for its depiction of women eating each other’s feces.
Bloom recently represented Chasity Jones in a similar suit against David, winning her client $11 million in damages. Some of Taylor’s charges overlap with Jones’s.
Multiple outbursts from David—including theatrical sobs and sudden fits of exaggerated laughter—frequently interrupted the proceedings, after which Bloom took the opportunity to repeat, “out-of-control boss in the workplace...and the courtroom.”
When Bloom told the jury that she intended to seek a $10-million award for her client, David applauded in a slow, mocking rhythm.
Then—just after the court adjourned for lunch—David berated two women working for the plaintiff's legal team. "You should be fucking ashamed of yourself," he said, storming away.
After the break, defense attorney Ellyn Garofalo argued in her statement that David cultivated an edgy and “experimental” workplace environment that employees accepted.
“Mr. David's company is not the Disney channel,” she said, and Taylor "knew exactly what kind of workplace Filmon.tv was—and never complained.”
David, wearing a pineapple-print shirt, sweatpants, and slippers, then addressed the jury himself.
"Thanks for joining me in this massive waste of time," he began, trying the patience of Judge Cristopher K. Lui.
Yet David continued: “Nobody ever saw my genitals or a fruit basket," eliciting laughter from his supporters in the courtroom, many of whom wore hats and t-shirts with the hashtag "slaythedragon."
Taylor, who earned a degree in business marketing from the University of North Florida, testified that she once aspired to be a professional wrestler, working for a time at the WWE as a valet.
After suffering a concussion, she moved into other lines of work, and both sides acknowledge that she has experienced anxiety, “mental challenges,” and other health problems.
The extent to which these problems manifested themselves before, during, or after Taylor’s association with David will likely be central to the outcome of the trial—and the amount of the potential monetary award.