Greek billionaire told to pay $58 million for harassment | News | DW | 03.12.2019
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Greek billionaire told to pay $58 million for harassment

A US jury has ordered Greek billionaire Alkiviades "Alki" David to pay $58 million to his assistant for sexual harassment. David frequently erupted in profanities during the civil lawsuit.

A woman who once worked for businessman Alkiviades "Alki" David won her sexual harassment suit against the Greek billionaire, with jurors ordering David to pay $58 million (€52 million) in damages, her lawyer said on Monday.

According to Attorney Gloria Allred and her associates, David would regularly grab the claimant, Mahim Khan, by the neck and simulate oral sex. This would allegedly happen twice or three times a week.

The LA panel also heard that David repeatedly groped Khan and exposed her breasts on one occasion. A jury eventually found him liable for battery, sexual battery, and sexual harassment.

Allred said it was one the biggest sums to ever be awarded in a case like this. She noted that "women like Ms Khan are no longer willing to suffer in silence."

Read more: #MeToo and the makings of a movement

'System is broken'

Khan worked as production assistant in David's LA based-firms. The Greek national is an heir to the Coca-Cola Hellenic shipping and bottling company and also heads several media firms, including hologram and online streaming businesses. His net worth is estimated at $2.6 billion.

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David started the trial representing himself but was stripped of this right after repeated profanity-laced outbursts against Khan and her lawyers. He denied her claims and accused the judge of blocking witnesses who would speak in his favor.

"This trial proves that not only is the system broken," he said in a statement on Monday. "It's in a state of emergency. It's an emergency for employment law, for business and innovation in the state of California."

The businessman is set to appeal the decision.

The latest verdict comes after David was ordered to pay a total of over $14 million to two different women earlier this year in similar cases.

dj/aw (AFP, AP)

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