Billionaire mall mogul A. Alfred Taubman was sued by former employee Nicole Rock for sexual harrasment, discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination.
The 38-year-old Michigan woman worked as a flight attendant on Taubman Air Terminals from 2005 to 2011, the Detroit News reports. The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday seeks $29 million in damages for violations of her civil rights.
The numerous instances of repeated sexual harassment listed in the suit include claims that Taubman forcibly kissed Rock, tore her shirt, touched her breasts, grabbed her crotch, forced her to touch his crotch and "attempted to perform oral sex on her without her consent " -- threatening her by screaming,"I said lay down."
When Rock became pregnant in 2009, the suit alleges, Taubman told her she "should have had an abortion," and made other harassing comments about her decision to have a baby. He told her she "ruined her f--king life" and that her "ass has gotten wide."
Rock also claims she was forced to return to work from maternity leave a month before she was scheduled.
The Detroit Free Press has a statement from Taubman’s office:
“The allegations contained in the complaint filed in court this morning against A. Alfred Taubman are not true. Mr. Taubman will address the complaint through the appropriate legal channels."
88-year-old Taubman, a philanthropist who seems to maintain a lavish lifestyle, is no stranger to the courtroom. In 2002, he went to jail after being convicted for his involvement in a price-rigging scheme with Christie's art auction house during his tenure as chairman of Sotheby's.
Taubman is worth an estimated $2.9 billion as of September, according to Forbes. He's one of the wealthiest men in Michigan; see the slideshow below for the list of the richest people in the state as of March 2012.