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District celebrity hairstylist Andre Chreky has been trusted to manage the high-profile hairstyles of women like Rita Wilson and Laura Bush in his K Street salon since 1997. When he’s not touching famous hair, Chreky has been accused of repeatedly sexually harassing his employees.
This week Chreky was expected to go to trial in his second sexual harassment case brought against him by an employee. The first case, brought by colorist Ronnie Barrett, was decided last week, resulting in a 2.3 million dollar judgment to Barrett. The new case, brought by another former stylist, accuses Chreky of persistent sexual harassment that allegedly escalated from inappropriate sexual comments into repeated, attempted rapes.
The stylist’s complaint alleges a variety of horrific sexual acts inflicted upon her by her boss. A sampling of allegations from the complaint she filed with the court:
- “On a daily basis, Mr. Chreky will comment to one of more female employees that she looks ‘sexy’ or ‘especially sexy today.’ He also repeatedly references the sex lives of female employees, questions whether their husbands can please them in bed and offers to ‘help out.'”
- “Starting in the fall of 2000, Mr. Chreky made daily comments to Plaintiff about the way she looked and her attire. Such statements included that she looked “sexy,” had “sexy legs,” and that he liked the way she looked in that shirt or with that lipstick.”
- “Starting in the fall of 2003, Mr. Chreky repeatedly required Plaintiff to come to his office at the end of the day. During such visits, Mr. Chreky would discuss sexual topics and repeatedly proposition Plaintiff to have sex with him. He also told her that other stylists were having an affair with him.”
- “During such visits to his office, Mr. Chreky would promise better work, such as assigning the President’s family to her or offering to let her travel with the President’s family, in an attempt to induce Plaintiff to have sex with him.”
- “At a fundraiser in December of 2004, Mr. Chreky asked Plaintiff if she wanted to have a threesome and that he ‘would get any kind of girl [she] wanted. blond or brunette.’ Later he asked another employee if Plaintiff was the “hottest” stylist and if the three of them wanted to get a room for him for a threesome.”
- “Throughout her employment, Mr. Chreky would often direct Plaintiff to help him with a client’s hair. Mr. Chreky would then stand close to Plaintiff, rub hips against her or lean very close to her face as she worked.”
- “On or about November of 2003, Plaintiff was eating lunch in the kitchen area. In front of other employees, Mr. Chreky stated that Plaintiff had sexy legs. When the other employees had left, Mr. Chreky returned, leaned over Plaintiff and rubbed her leg and upper thigh. Plaintiff told Mr. Chreky to stop and he responded, ‘you have such smooth legs. Just let me touch them.’ Plaintiff slapped his hand and fled the room.”
- “On or about early summer of 2004, Plaintiff was waiting outside of the Salon for a ride that was over an hour late. Mr Chreky offered her a ride, which she declined. After Mr. Chreky repeatedly insisted on driving her home, she reluctantly agreed. On the drive home, Mr. Chreky pulled the car over and attacked her. He pulled her toward him, tried to kiss her, pinned her to the back of the seat, and rolled on top of her. Mr. Chreky lifted her skirt, grabbed her underwear and pulled it to the side, exposing her vagina, and then grabbed her genitals. Plaintiff pleaded and tried to get him to stop. My. Chreky unzipped his pants and tried to penetrate her with his penis. When Plaintiff threatened to call the cops, Mr. Chreky stopped and drove her home while threatening her to not tell anyone about the ride home.”
- “Later in 2004, Plaintiff was again assaulted while alone in the lunchroom. Mr. Chreky shoved her against the sink, pushed his groin against hers and attempted to get his hand under her bra. When Plaintiff grabbed his arm and told him to stop, he pleaded for her to ‘let me touch it one time, just one time.’ Plaintiff threatened to scream if he did not stop.”
- “In 2004 through 2006, Mr. Chreky would continually attempt to trap Plaintiff alone while at work. If he ever found her alone, he would grab her around the shoulders or waist and press his groin against her body. He would often try to grab her buttocks or genital area, and would grab and lift her skirt. These attacks occurred, at times, as much as twice per day.”
- “In March of 2005, Mr. Chreky attacked Plaintiff in the kitchen by slamming hr into the sink. He pressed his body against hers, pried her legs apart with his leg and placed his hand underneath her skirt. Although Plaintiff repeatedly tried to escape, Mr. Cherky physically restrained her. He repeatedly asked her to just let him touch her. Mr. Chreky was able to grab the side of her underwear and told her, while holding a lighter up to her face, that if he kept fighting that he was going to burn her underwear off. Mr. Chreky then violently ripped her underwear off (bruising her genital area) and holding it up to his face, while saying, ‘see, now I got it and now I am going to keep it as a souvenir.’ That day, he repeatedly taunted her at her work station following this attack.”
- “Repeatedly during 2005 and up to her termination, Mr. Chreky would grab her when he found her alone and push her head toward his genitals demanding that she ‘give him a blow job.'”
- “In late summer of 2005, Mr. Chreky ordered Plaintiff to do inventory on the fifth floor. Plaintiff thought she was safe on the fifth floor because Mr. Chreky was with a client, but Mr. Chreky followed and attacked her by forcing her against a wall at the top of the stairwell. Plaintiff tried to escape down the stairs, but to no avail. When Plaintiff screamed, he covered her mouth with his hand. Mr. Chreky unzipped his pants, pulled Plaintiff”s skirt up above her waist, pulled her underwear to one side and attempted to penetrate her. At this point, Plaintiff was sobbing loudly and having trouble breathing. When he released her mouth, she began screaming and again, he covered her mouth. Plaintiff was finally able to get away when another employee walked to the bottom of the stairwell.”
- “In the fall of 2005, Mr. Chreky again required plaintiff to come to his office. She went, but stood just inside the open door. Mr. Chreky got up and slammed the door, pushed her over and got on top of her. Plaintiff began to cry and yelled for him to let her go. He grabbed her skirt, tore it and tried to get his hand to her genital area. Mr. Chreky unzipped his pants, tried to get her skirt about her waist and attempted to penetrate her At this time, another employee knowcked on the door. In response, Mr. Chreky jumped up and zipped his pants. Plaintiff opened the door and ran past her shocked colleague.”
In a response to her complaint, Chreky and the salon denied all the stylist’s allegations. They did include one clarification, in response to the allegation that Chreky would “rub hips against her or lean very close to her face as she worked”: “Defendants deny the allegations . . . save that defendants aver that all employees of the Salon work in relatively close quarters and that, when employees collaborated on a single client, it was impossible for those employees to do other than ‘stand close’ to each other. Defendants deny that any such positioning was sexual in nature, or constituted discrimination or harassment during the course of employment based on gender or sex.”
If you’re wondering how allegations of attempted employee rape might affect a salon’s business: Last week, Chreky’s camp announced that the salon has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.