A top executive from Twentieth Century Fox said she was told to "lift up her skirt" and was subjected to other harassing comments during her tenure at the company, according to an explosive new lawsuit.
In the complaint filed Friday at Los Angeles Superior Court, Denise Stilwell is suing the corporation, attorney Jack Zwissig and others for sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and violation of public policy.
The suit is the latest in a number of complaints involving women working in Hollywood following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Stilwell, who was the Vice President of the company's Enterprise Rights Management team until she was suddenly terminated in January, said she reported directly to Twentieth Century Fox CFO Dean Hallett.
Stilwell alleged in the legal docs that Hallett called her into his office on May 2016 and allegedly told her that she "smiled too much." In the affidavit, Stilwell said the comment caught her off guard.
Zwissig, who was hired by the company as an executive coach, also allegedly told Stilwell, "You laugh too much" and that she "needed to lift her skirt."
According to Stilwell's filing, Zwissig also allegedly said people did not like her and her smile was fake.
Stilwell contends that gender discrimination was also a factor in her firing.
In the court documents, the former exec said she was also retaliated against for complaining about the gender discrimination and sexual harassment she endured.
"Plaintiff complained to her supervisor and others about the 'lift her skirt' comment as completely improper, sexist comment that contributed to an already hostile work environment," according to Stilwell's attorneys, Wayne C. Smith and Victor George.
Stilwell said she was promised the position of Senior Vice President, but was instead abruptly fired from the company on Jan. 20. According to the suit, Stilwell had an annual income of $210,750, medical and dental insurance, car allowances and other bonuses.
The ex-executive is asking an undetermined amount of money for humiliation, mental anguish, loss of future earnings, punitive damages and attorney's fees.
Fox News has faced a number of embarrassing scandals recently involving allegations of sexual harassment involving on-air talent.
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