Tag Archives: Assistant

Assistant referee Kathryn Nesbitt makes history in men’s World Cup qualifier

Kathryn Nesbitt ran the sidelines, waving a flag, blending in for all the right reasons.

The 32-year-old from Philadelphia became a pioneer as FIFA appointed women to work on-field officials for men’s World Cup qualifiers, serving as an assistant referee Thursday night when Canada opened with a 5-1 rout of Bermuda at Orlando, Florida.

There were no controversies in a match that featured Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies setting up three goals for Besiktas’ Cyle Larin. Nesbitt disappeared into the background as much as one can while working in a yellow jersey and black shorts, an orange and yellow flag in her hands.

FIFA announced the first men’s World Cup qualifiers with woman referees will be when Stephanie Frappart of France works the Netherlands’ match against visiting Latvia on Saturday and Kateryna Monzul of Ukraine calls Austria’s game vs. the visiting Faeroe Islands on Sunday. Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico served as an assistant referee for Suriname’s 3-0 win over the Cayman Islands on Wednesday.

WATCH | Nesbitt adds her name to the record books again: 

Kathryn Nesbitt, 2020 MLS Assistant Referee of the Year, makes history by becoming the first woman to referee a CONCACAF men’s World Cup qualifier. 0:34

“I’m hoping that people will bring her to the men’s World Cup in a couple of years instead of the Women’s World Cup — actually both,” said Rick Eddy, U.S. Soccer’s director of referee development. “If FIFA really wants to make a stand towards saying they’re supporting women, here’s their opportunity.”

Nesbitt worked 18 MLS games last season, including the MLS is Back tournament final, and was voted the league’s assistant referee of the year. The workload of the 6-foot tall official has included 82 league games in all since 2015 plus seven more as an assistant video referee during the last two seasons.

Nesbitt earned a FIFA badge in 2016 and officiated at that year’s Women’s Under-17 World Cup, the 2018 Women’s Under-20 World Cup, and two matches at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

“She’s pretty imposing physically,” said Howard Webb, a Premier League referee from 2003-14 who is entering his fourth season as general manager of Major League Soccer’s Professional Referee Organization. “She’s tall, athletic. She’s very calm and clearly intelligent as well. She’s able to process a lot of information quickly and accurately.”

WATCH | Nesbitt marks a North American pro sports 1st during MLS Cup final:

Kathryn Nesbitt, 2020 Assistant Referee of the Year, becomes the first woman to referee a championship match in professional men’s sports in North America by officiating the 2020 MLS Cup Final. 0:30

In U.S. soccer, “The Professor” was the nickname of Julio Mazzei, who served two stints as coach of the Cosmos in the old North American Soccer League in 1979-80. Nesbitt is a real professor with a Ph.D. She taught analytical chemistry as an assistant professor at Towson University in Maryland from 2017-19.

She quit to become a full-time soccer official.

“I actually started when I was 14 years old. Clearly, that was more of a hobby at the time,” she said. “So it’s just kind of made its way into a career over the last 20ish years or so.”

A competitive figure skater for 15 years and a volleyball player in college, she began officiating under-8 games while growing up in Rochester, New York. She started to work adult and semipro matches after she finished her bachelor’s degree at St. John Fisher College and worked toward her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.

“It kept me active and I really liked that way of thinking about the game,” she said.

Breakthrough weekend for women soccer officials

She made her professional debut in a National Women’s Soccer League match between Kansas City and Portland on April 13, 2013, and her MLS debut when D.C. United played Columbus on May 2, 2015.

“I have always felt respected there, and there really hasn’t been an example for me that stands out as sexism towards me,” she said. “My first couple of years in the league, I think I was treated the same way a new referee would be treated, as, who is this person and are they going to be any good?”

At the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, Nesbitt worked Norway vs. Nigeria and Sweden vs. Canada game plus three more games as a video official, including the England-Sweden third-place match.

“That was probably one of the most incredible feelings of my entire life — to actually reach a huge milestone for myself and get to experience a World Cup in person,” she said.

On-field officials navigate the additional complication of video review. MLS has used Video Assistant Referees since late 2017, but World Cup qualifying is not aided by technology. Nesbitt has to remind herself not to raise her flag quickly on offside calls in case the VAR decides there was no violation, but be quick to wave off action when electronics are not involved.

“It can be really interesting to switch between doing an MLS game, let’s say, and then going to do a women’s international match that doesn’t necessarily have VAR yet,” she said.

Nesbitt was just the start of a breakthrough weekend for American women and soccer officials, who are selected by CONCACAF and approved by FIFA. Jennifer Garner is scheduled to be an assistant referee and Tori Penso the fourth official for Saturday’s qualifier between Aruba and Suriname in Bradenton, Florida.


Nesbitt earned a FIFA badge in 2016 and officiated at that year’s Women’s Under-17 World Cup, the 2018 Women’s Under-20 World Cup, and two matches at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. (John Raoux/The Associated Press)

Nesbitt is to work as an assistant referee when Anguilla plays the Dominican Republic in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the same day Brooke Mayo is slated to be an assistant referee Sunday, and Penso is the fourth official when Canada hosts the Cayman Islands in Bradenton.

Wendy Toms was the first woman assistant referee in the Premier League from 1997-2005 and Sian Massey-Ellis is perhaps the most well-known woman soccer official worldwide because of viewers seeing her as an assistant referee in the Premier League since 2010. She worked her first Europa League match last October when PSV Eindhoven played Austria’s LASK.

Camaraderie has developed

Nesbitt trained with her for the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

“That was a really cool experience for me because she is the first,” Nesbitt said. “I had already looked up to her for years before I even got the chance to work in MLS. She’s always been an inspiration for me. She is so consistent and solid.”

The pioneering women have been rated among the sport’s best. They needed to be among the best to break through.

“Unfortunately, women are judged differently instead of being judged as equals in a lot of a professional sports,” Eddy said.

A camaraderie has developed.

“It’s a really unique, select group of women that have had these opportunities, so I think we do share that feeling and that ambition that we all have,” Nesbitt said. “We’ve all probably had a few conversations about it. And when those appointments come out and we find out about the other one getting a really special new type of appointment, we reach out to each other.”

Webb, who refereed both the 2010 Champions League and World Cup finals, hopes the pool of female officials will expand. For a long time, he says, women unfairly had to be “better than their male counterparts to prove that they were worth an opportunity.”

Nesbitt isn’t in the already under-consideration group for the 2022 men’s World Cup, but there’s always the 2026 tournament co-hosted by the United States. Webb envisions a woman taking the whistle for a men’s World Cup match, with hundreds of millions of people around the globe tuned in.

“I think it is only a matter of time before it will happen,” he said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Timberwolves officially hire former Raptors assistant Chris Finch as head coach

Chris Finch is the new coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team announced Monday after dismissing Ryan Saunders the previous night.

Saunders was fired Sunday after the team with the NBA’s worst record this season lost for the eighth time in the last nine games. The team quickly hired Finch, who was in his first season as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors.

“Chris brings a wealth of basketball experience from his time in the NBA, G League and Internationally,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “He is one of the most creative basketball minds in the NBA, has success maximizing players, and I am excited to see him bring our team to the next level and beyond.”

At 7-24, Minnesota has the league’s worst record this season and already is 7 1/2 games out of what would be the final play-in spot for the Western Conference post-season. The Timberwolves next play on Tuesday, visiting Milwaukee.

“We would like to thank Ryan for his time and commitment to the Timberwolves organization and wish him the best in the future,” Rosas said. “These are difficult decisions to make, however this change is in the best interest of the organization’s short and long-term goals.”

Key players sidelined

It had been a wildly disappointing season for the Timberwolves, who started 2-0 and haven’t had much to savour since. Karl-Anthony Towns, the team’s best player, dislocated his left wrist in the season’s second game and missed six games, returned and missed 13 more after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

D’Angelo Russell, the other key piece for the Timberwolves, had surgery last week on his left knee and may be out until April.

There was no sign the Timberwolves had stopped playing for Saunders; they were down by 21 points in the third quarter at New York earlier Sunday, then took the lead in the final minutes before falling 103-99.

“Unfortunately we ran out of time,” Saunders said after that loss.

He was talking about the game.

Before long, that sentence had a very different meaning.

Connection to Rosas

Finch has history with Rosas, working together with the Houston Rockets. He coached the team’s affiliate in what is now called the G League, winning a championship with Rio Grande Valley, then became a Rockets assistant. He went on to have assistant jobs in Denver and New Orleans and was hired by the Raptors in November.

“I look forward to working hand and hand with Gersson to build and lead a team Timberwolves fans will be proud of,” Rosas said. “We have excellent pieces in place and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Saunders, the 34-year-old son of longtime Minnesota coach Flip Saunders, was with the Timberwolves for parts of three seasons, going 43-94. Flip Saunders died in 2015.

Dismissing Saunders was the first coaching change in the league since this season began. There were nine coaches in new jobs entering this season.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Brett Peterson joins Florida Panthers as NHL’s 1st Black assistant GM

The Florida Panthers on Tuesday hired Brett Peterson as an assistant general manager, making him the first Black executive to hold that position in the NHL.

Peterson’s hiring comes days after the nearby Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as the first female GM in Major League Baseball. The NFL’s Miami Dolphins have a Black GM, Chris Grier, and coach, Brian Flores.

“I don’t think they’re just going out to get people; I think they’ve identified people that are good at what they do and hard-working and excited,” Peterson said on a conference call with reporters. “It just so happens to be that a couple of us are African-American and one of us is a woman and that shouldn’t matter. We want the best candidates.”

Among its recent anti-racism and diversity initiatives, the NHL formed an executive inclusion council that aims to increase minority participation in front offices and on coaching staffs. Peterson said his hiring is a milestone that he called “hard to put into words.

“I’m just happy that now there can be a second and a third,” Peterson said. “It’s going to be exciting times because I think other people will realize that things are possible and they should be. There’s never really been a hard stop, but there hasn’t been this type of opportunity yet, so I’m happy that we can hopefully create some more.”

The 39-year-old Peterson has a background as a player agent just like GM Bill Zito and fellow assistant Paul Krepelka. He was previously vice-president of hockey for Wasserman Media Group and has been an NHLPA certified agent since 2009.

“It’s a great move by the Florida Panthers, and Wasserman Hockey will certainly miss him,” Wasserman Hockey senior vice-president Judd Moldaver said in a phone interview. “He played the game at a high level. He treats people the right way. He’s extremely smart. Players love him, respect him.”

Aims to make sport more inclusive

Peterson played five pro seasons in the minors after winning a national title during his time at Boston College. The Northborough, Mass., native also advises and consults for a non-profit organization that provides mentoring and hockey programs for underprivileged youth and underserved communities.

“His substantive hockey experience as a player, significant developmental and evaluation skills and business acumen as a negotiator combine to form an elite skill set that is very difficult to find in our sport,” Zito said in a release sent by the Panthers. “There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines but few who excel in all three.”

The Panthers said Peterson will take an active role in their foundation’s community programs aimed at making the sport more inclusive in South Florida.

“I have worked with Brett for a number of years, and it’s not surprising that his skills were coveted by a front office,” said Wasserman Hockey executive VP Markus Lehto, who took over many of Zito’s clients at Acme World Sports when Zito became assistant GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“I expect that many of the same qualities that made him a successful agent — his character, his respect within the industry and his understanding of all levels of the game — will also make him a successful executive.”

Boston College coach Jerry York called Zito the day after he took the Panthers GM job to recommend Peterson who, the Hockey Hall of Famer says, could have gone into any line of work he wanted after graduating. He opted to go the agent route.

“First person of colour that’s been an assistant general manager in the NHL — that’s breaking barriers,” York said. “I’d love to see him stay in that endeavour for a while and after five, six years or whatever, he could become a general manager seamlessly.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Kings assistant coach Roy Rana comfortable in NBA bubble

NBA players and staff are getting settled into a routine at the league bubble in Orlando, Fla., after their first week at the Disneyland facility. 

“Right now I think it’s so early that it hasn’t been very bad at all. It’s been fairly smooth,” said Roy Rana, assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings and former Ryerson Rams head coach. 

Rana, who is from Toronto and is in his first year of NBA coaching, arrived at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex last week.

He said he was given a short education session on what to expect and what rules need to be followed. He was then tested and had to isolate for two days while waiting for test results.  

Rana said he had to put some thought into whether he’d return to finish the season in Florida.

“I think each and every one of us dealt with some sort of semblance of anxiety. Is it the right thing? Are we putting ourselves at risk?” said Rana, who grew up in Toronto.


NBA teams are scheduled to play games at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World in Florida at the end of the month. (Associated Press)

“You’re flooded constantly with news and most of it is not great, so that has a little bit of an impact on you.”

Rana decided to go because he was confident in the NBA’s plan on keeping teams safe during the restart. People are required to wear masks, and must stay on the designated campus at Disneyland. 

“There’s hand sanitizer all over the place,” said Rana. 

“We’re doing everything we possibly can to keep ourselves safe. There’s no guarantee, we all understand that. But it feels like a really great, safe environment.”

Bubble life


Vancouver’s Brandon Clarke (15) is looking forward to playing games again. (Associated Press)

Rana and the Kings will be battling for a playoff spot over the eight seeding games with the Memphis Grizzlies.

For Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke, the decision to return was about the love of the game. He’s excited his team is one of the 22 teams chosen to be in the bubble and that have a shot at making the 16-team playoffs.

“Obviously it’s a tough time,” said the Vancouver-born Clarke. 

 “With that being said, basketball is my thing. Playing basketball is what I love doing so to be able to be back on the court and be playing is really what I was always planning to try and get back to.”

While some of his teammates have used the time in the bubble to fish, Clarke has been hanging out with teammate Jaren Jackson Jr., playing video games, and connecting with friends and family online. 

Rana has also been catching up with friends and family, but instead of video games he’s spent a lot of time reading and working out. 

“You got a lot of time so you just get on that elliptical and sweat it out,” said Rana. “We got to take care of ourselves. This is going to be a pretty drawn out process.”

Back on the court


Rana hopes players walk away from this experience with a greater appreciation for basketball. (Jeremy Eaton/ CBC)

Teams will have been in Orlando for over a month before games start July 31. That stay will be extended by two weeks for teams that make the playoffs, with the finals ending in October.

For Rana, that means he won’t be able to see his family until mid-august at the earliest. He said that will be the toughest part about being in Orlando. 

“That will be the challenge,” said Rana. “Just being in two places at one time where you know that maybe they’re having a hard time or they’re doing something fun and you’re not able to be a part of that.”

Rana said for the most part the Kings players came back in great shape, making the transition to practising again easy.

Teams get three hourd to practise each day, as well as time to work out, and additional court time for players looking to put in more work.  


Brandon Clarke is looking forward to getting back on the court and playing meaningful basketball. But even practice has been exciting.

“It’s just been really fun getting that chemistry back. It’s been four or five months since we played five on five practice,” said Clarke. 

“It’s something we all missed so much and I’m just really grateful that I can be back here to play with them.”

Rana and the Kings will need a strong run to make the playoffs, but hw said the bubble experience is about more than just getting wins.

“For all of us, it’s really about having a great sense of gratitude and really appreciating everything we have,” said Rana. 

“Who would’ve ever thought that in mid-March we would step off the floor and maybe not play again, and now here we are again, we have another chance almost four months later, so I think for all of us it’s given us a newfound appreciation for what we have.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Kylie Jenner’s Former Assistant Victoria Villarroel Sets the Record Straight on Why She Quit After 5 Years

Kylie Jenner’s Former Assistant Victoria Villarroel Sets the Record Straight on Why She Quit After 5 Years | Entertainment Tonight

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

News

‘He always, always finds a way’: Flames assistant GM ready to fight ALS diagnosis

Calgary Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, his wife said Wednesday in a letter published on the NHL team’s website.

Snow was promoted to assistant GM this year from director of hockey analysis.

The 38-year-old from Melrose, Mass., joined the Flames in 2011 after five years working for the Minnesota Wild as director of hockey operations.

Snow’s father, two uncles and a 28-year-old cousin have died of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Kelsie Snow said in the letter.


ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body, according to ALS Canada.

There is currently no cure for the disease. Approximately 80 per cent of people with ALS die within two to five years of diagnosis, ALS Canada says.

Snow has been enrolled in a clinical trial for a gene therapy treatment developed by the University of Miami for several months.

“The drug targets a specific genetic mutation that has devastated Chris’ family,” Kelsie wrote.

“Someone has to be the first person to live with ALS rather than die from it, and one thing I’ve always known about Chris is that he finds a way.

“No matter the obstacle, no matter how unprecedented the situation may be — he always, always finds a way.”

Snow is a former sports journalist who worked as an NHL and Major League Baseball beat writer in Minneapolis and Boston respectively before embarking on a career in team management.

Kelsie, also a journalist, covered MLB and other professional sports in the United States. The couple have two children.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Blackhawks put assistant coach Marc Crawford on leave after recent allegations

Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford will be away from the team while it reviews his conduct with another organization.

The Blackhawks didn’t provide any details Monday about what they are examining, but former NHL forward Sean Avery recently told the New York Post that Crawford kicked him after he was whistled for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty when he played for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2006-07 season.

Speaking on a Barstool Sports podcast a year ago, former NHL defenceman Brent Sopel said Crawford “kicked me, he choked me, he grabbed the back of my jersey and just pulling it back.” Sopel played for Crawford in Vancouver.

The team said it will have no further comment until the review is completed.

The 58-year-old Crawford joined coach Jeremy Colliton’s staff in June. Crawford was the interim head coach for Ottawa at the end of last season. He also has served as the head coach for Colorado, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Dallas, leading the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup title in 1996.



“I understand the reason for a review,” Colliton said after Monday night’s 4-0 loss to St. Louis. “I can only speak for my time with Marc. He’s been excellent. I’ve really enjoyed that he’s added a lot to our group and our staff and our players. I’ll leave it at that.”

The issue with Crawford comes after Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters resigned Friday following accusations he directed racist slurs at a Nigerian-born player with one of Chicago’s minor league teams a decade ago. Others claimed Peters kicked and punched players behind the bench during his recent time with Carolina.

On Twitter, Akim Aliu said Peters “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.” It happened during the 2009-10 season while the two were with the Blackhawks’ top minor league affiliate in Rockford, Ill.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Astros fire assistant GM over clubhouse remarks to female reporters

The Houston Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman on Thursday for directing inappropriate comments at female reporters during a clubhouse celebration, announcing the decision in the middle of the World Series and putting a renewed spotlight on domestic violence in baseball.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow apologized for the team’s initial response Monday, which was to accuse Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein of making up the story.

“That original reaction by the Astros was wrong, and we own it as an organization,” Luhnow said during a news conference at Nationals Park, a day before Game 3.

“There were many people involved in reviewing that and approving that. And I’m not going to get into the details of that … But regardless of who wrote it and who approved it, it was wrong. It was incorrect. It should never have been sent out. We’ve learned a lesson about it,” he said.

Taubman had apologized Tuesday for using language that was “unprofessional and inappropriate” in the Astros clubhouse following Saturday night’s pennant-clinching victory over the New York Yankees.

Sports Illustrated reported Taubman repeatedly yelled toward a group of female reporters about teammate Roberto Osuna, who was suspended for 75 games last year for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy then was traded from Toronto to the Astros.

Taubman shouted “Thank God we got Osuna!” according to Sports Illustrated, which said he made similar remarks several times, punctuating them with a profanity.

Nothing ‘correct’ or ‘defensible’ 

After an investigation by Major League Baseball and the Astros, Luhnow met with Taubman on Thursday and fired him before the team travelled to Washington. Luhnow called it “a pretty tough conversation.”

“He’s been a valuable employee. We hired him over five years ago, he’s moved up quickly in the organization,” Luhnow said. “He’s smart. He’s hard working. And these comments that he made were out of character. He hasn’t had this type of incident before. This is not a repeating pattern of anything, which is why it was so easy for us to believe that it was more innocent than it turned out to be.”

The team’s initial statement Monday claimed Sports Illustrated tried to “fabricate a story where one does not exist” and maintained Taubman’s comments weren’t directed at reporters.

“There’s nothing about that first statement that was correct or that’s defensible,” Luhnow said. “The original impression that we had, without doing an investigation — and that’s our fault for not doing the investigation — was that it was two colleagues talking who were overheard and the comments were not directed at anybody in particular, not meant to be mean-spirited in any way or offensive in any way, just supportive of the player who had had a bad night.”

“But as we continued to investigate, it was clear that they were intended to be heard. And they were completely inappropriate,” he said.

Luhnow said the Astros decided Wednesday “that we were going to take action unilaterally ahead of Major League Baseball making any recommendations.” He said Taubman’s behaviour did not indicate a wider problem in the Astros’ front office.

Not a ‘cultural issue’

“This is not something that’s endemic. This is not a cultural issue,” he said. “We have a lot of really good people in our front office, in our coaching staff, and our team.”

The team apologized to the Sports Illustrated reporter, the magazine and people who saw the incident, and to those who were offended.

“The Astros are very committed to using our voice to create awareness and support on the issue of domestic violence,” the team said in a statement.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch has been critical of Taubman’s behaviour since the report came out.

“I continue to be disappointed and just sorry it happened,” Hinch said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Toronto FC assistant Robin Fraser takes head-coaching job in Colorado

Toronto FC assistant coach Robin Fraser is the new head coach of the Colorado Rapids.

Fraser, 52, was in his fifth season as an assistant coach after originally joining Toronto FC in January 2015. A source confirmed to The Canadian Press that Toronto received $ 75,000 US in general allocation money from Colorado to let Fraser leave.

“I’m thrilled to be back with the Colorado Rapids and eager to lead this club forward into what I believe can be a successful period in the club’s history,” said Fraser. “I consider Colorado to be home. I’ve played here, coached here and I know the soccer community in this state.

“I’m committed to the club’s vision and I’m excited to work with this strong group of players and especially the nucleus of young, talented players we have at the club.”

He joins Colorado after more than 12 years of coaching experience in MLS, including eight playoff seasons.

Fraser began his professional playing career in the American Soccer League, playing for the Colorado Foxes until joining MLS in its 1996 inaugural season. Fraser was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 1996 MLS draft and went on to play for the LA Galaxy, Rapids, and the Columbus Crew.

WATCH | Morrow lifts Toronto past Montreal on Saturday:

TFC scored twice in the second half to beat Montreal 2-1. 1:35

The teams announced the move Sunday in separate releases.

“On behalf of everyone at Toronto FC, we’d like to thank Robin for all his contributions to the club and we wish him success moving forward in his new position,” said Toronto FC general manager Ali Curtis in a statement.

Fraser was part of the club’s 2017 Treble winning season (MLS Cup, MLS Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship).

He spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Red Bulls (2013, 2014) before joining Toronto. New York won the 2013 MLS Supporters’ Shield. Fraser also spent two seasons (2011, 2012) as head coach of Chivas USA.

Fraser began his MLS coaching career with Real Salt Lake in 2007 and was an assistant coach for the club’s 2009 MLS Cup win.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Mariah Carey's Former Assistant Suing the Singer for Wrongful Termination, Sexual Harassment and Battery

Mariah Carey’s former assistant is responding to the pop diva’s recent lawsuit with a lawsuit of her own.

Hours after news broke that Carey had filed a $ 3 million suit against her former executive assistant, Lianna Shakhnazaryan, for violating their non-disclosure agreement, the ex-employee fired back with a lengthy lawsuit of her own, accusing Carey, and her former manager, Stella Bulochnikov, for a litany of alleged claims.

The laundry list of allegations includes wrongful termination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, racial discrimination, sexual harassment, failure to pay earned wages upon termination, breach of oral contract, rescission of contract, violation of the Bane Act, violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.

According to the lawsuit obtained by ET, Shakhnazaryan claims she began working as Carey’s assistant in September 2015, and allegedly had an oral employment agreement to be paid $ 328,500 annually.

Shakhnazaryan claims in the suit that she was “required to meet constant demands of great magnitude and often on incredibly short time demands,” and that she also served as a personal assistant to Bulochnikov and coordinator between the manager and the singer.

The former personal assistant alleges that she was “subjected to severe, pervasive, sexual, derogatory, offensive, physically abusive and outrageous conduct by [Bulochnikov],” allegedly including being referred to as “a f**king Armenian whore,” among other racially charged insults.

Shakhnazaryan claims she was also subjected to “acts of physical abuse” including the “slapping of [her] buttocks and breasts,” as well as allegedly being tackled to the ground by Bulochnikov and “urinated upon in the presence of others on multiple occasions.”

The documents also accuse Bulochnikov of making repeated offensive sexual and derogatory comments regarding her Armenian heritage, and repeated ridicule directed toward Shakhnazaryan’s physical appearance.

The assistant claims Carey “had knowledge of the [conduct], as much of such improper conduct was carried out against [Shakhnazaryan] with Carey’s knowledge, permission and/or in Carey’s presence.” 

She also alleges that not only Carey but others employed by her witnessed the acts and did nothing to stop or prevent them. Furthermore, Shakhnazaryan claims she directly reported Bulochnikov’s alleged behavior to Carey and was terminated “in direct response” to her complaint.

Shakhnazaryan’s suit ultimately claims that she “suffered and continues to suffer severe emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment” as a result of Bulochnikov’s alleged actions.

Regarding her accusations of battery, the former assistant claims that she was “subjected to aggressive, abusive and harmful physical conduct by Carey… [which was] performed… with the intent to harm and/or offend” Shakhnazaryan, while she was allegedly living at Carey’s home from November 2015 through “the middle of 2017” as required by the terms of her employment.

Shakhnazaryan is seeking compensatory damages “including lost wages, past and future earnings [and] unpaid overtime,” as well as money for “physical injury, mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress,” along with general damages, attorney’s fees, the cost of the lawsuit, and punitive damages. She is also demanding a trial by jury.

The shocking allegations made in her suit come following Carey’s own lawsuit, in which Shakhnazaryan is accused of being “a grifter, a Peeping Tom and an extortionist.”

Carey’s lawsuit alleges that Shakhnazaryan secretly filmed her without her knowledge or permission, which if revealed would be personally embarrassing and professionally damaging to her. 

Carey’s lawsuit also alleges Shakhnazaryan displayed the intimate videos for her friends and co-workers, then “threatened to release the videos, and other sensitive, private information, unless Mariah provided her $ 8,000,000,” adding that Shakhnazaryan had allegedly been blackmailing the singer.

In a statement to ET, Carey’s rep continued to claim that the allegations and evidence made in the lawsuit is “vast and deplorable.”

“This new year welcomes Mariah’s continued efforts to clean the trash from her life,” the statement reads. “Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit against her. Given that the evidence against this former assistant is vast and deplorable, we anticipate a victorious resolution. Mariah continues her streak of success this year with an upcoming North American tour and return to Vegas.”

Shakhnazaryan’s attorney, Mark Quigley, released a statement to ET on Wednesday, staunchly denying the claims made in Carey’s lawsuit and reiterating accusations leveled by his client.

“These baseless allegations are an attempt to attack my client’s character and deflect attention away from a workplace harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit she filed today against her former employer, Mariah Carey. My client never did anything she wasn’t specifically asked to do while working in the course and scope of her job as a personal assistant. Her lawsuit is about holding her employer accountable for severely inappropriate behavior that caused tremendous stress and emotional turmoil.”

Notably, earlier this month, Carey settled her own high-profile legal battle with Bulochnikov. 

Last April, Bulochnikov filed documents against Carey — approximately five months after being fired by the singer — accusing her of sexual harassment and breach of contract. Carey vehemently denied the claims.

According to court documents obtained by ET, the two parties reached a mutually agreed resolution to the matter, and Bulochnikov agreed to discontinue the action against Carey “with prejudice, with each party to bear its own attorneys’ fees and costs.”

RELATED CONTENT:

Mariah Carey Sues Former Assistant for Allegedly Violating Non-Disclosure Agreement

Mariah Carey Settles Legal Battle With Ex-Manager Stella Bulochnikov

Johnny Depp Settles $ 25 Million Lawsuit Against The Management Group

Related Gallery

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

News