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Mariah Carey and her former assistant Lianna Shakhnazaryan are suing one another in separate lawsuits, with Carey accusing Shakhnazaryan of attempted extortion via something similar to a revenge porn scheme. Shakhnazaryan, meanwhile, accuses Carey of racist comments, physical abuse, and urinating on her.
In lawsuits filed Wednesday in Los Angeles and New York City courts, Carey says that Shakhnazaryan secretly recorded her in “intimate moments” and showed the footage to other people without her consent. Later, her suit says, Shakhnazaryan told an acquaintance if Carey fired her she would sell the video in retaliation, has consistently refused to return the ill-gotten footage, and tried to extort $8 million from Carey using the footage as leverage. The singer also accuses Shakhnazaryan of stealing her credit cards to make personal purchases.
Carey is seeking the return and destruction of the footage, an injunction against Shakhnazaryan to prevent her from selling the footage, and punitive and compensatory damages.
In her own suit filed Thursday in Los Angeles, Shakhnazaryan, who was hired in 2015 and fired in 2017, says that Carey subjected her to “severe, pervasive, sexual, derogatory, offensive, physically abusive and outrageous conduct.” The suit said the conduct included disparaging references to Shakhnazaryan’s Armenian ethnicity, such as referring to her as an “Armenian whore” and “a f—– n—–” among other things. Carey is also accused of slapping Shakhnazaryan’s breasts and buttocks on multiple occasions and bullying Shakhnazaryan by ridiculing her appearance and placing objects like iPhones on seats or other locations.
The suit also accuses Carey of physically holding Shakhnazaryan “down on the ground and urinating” on her “and/or allowing plaintiff to be urinated on in the presence of others on multiple occasions.”
Shakhnazaryan is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and payment for all legal fees.
Representatives for Carey and Shakhnazaryan did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.
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