The television industry: where sexual harassment begins after your boss makes you agree to sleep with him. This is at least the case according to a complaint filed recently in the Los Angeles Superior Court by set dresser Jamie Squillare. The lawsuit names Michael Sunga, a leadman on the tragically-ended television show 90210, along with CBS Studios, ESPG Management, Eye Productions, and 90210 Productions as defendants.
Sleeping with the boss on set? Totally normal. As The Hollywood Reporter makes clear, it’s “what happened next,” what happened after Squillare felt pressured to sleep with Sunga, that triggered the legal action.
The what happened next is a cautionary tale for young set dressers. In order to achieve success in the field, following Squillare's career trajectory on 90210—any part of it—would not be advisable. According to the official court documents, from day one she:
- Accepted a job contingent on succumbing to sexual advances from her boss and promised to give him her first two paychecks
- Resisted requests to become his girlfriend, but then eventually obliged as it was only fair
- Refused to participate in payroll and corporate fraud with Sunga because that would have been morally wrong
- Got nervous at the weird text messages he sent her and responded by sending him forceful texts like “[you] legit just gave me another mental breakdown”
- Made sure he had the phone numbers of all of her friends so when she decided to start ignoring him, he could call them to find her
- Said no when he asked to spend Christmas in New Jersey with her family
- Had her mom call him and tell him—again—he was not welcome home for Christmas
- Asked him why she was the only one who had to work late only to receive the reply “You’re in the penalty box”
- Did not spread any sexually transmitted disease to him but it didn't matter because he told everyone she did
- Ignored his calls post-lonely Christmas, even when he threatened to call her mom again
- Got fired
As a young set dresser, she should have probably known that the second you start paying your boss to let you fuck him and then subsequently involve your mom in the affair, shit’s gonna get bad fast. Besides, whatever happened to sleeping with your boss the old fashioned way? The way that doesn't cost money? That way seems a lot easier.
[Image via Getty]