Cristina Ehrlich, celebrity stylist to Penelope Cruz, Margot Robbie, Tina Fey, and New York Fashion Week’s 2012 “Celebrity Stylist of the Year,” was sued Tuesday by former employee Kevin Ericson, who alleges he was subject to discrimination because of his sexual orientation.
Ericson brought the case to the Los Angeles Superior court against Ehrlich and Little White Dog Inc., her Sherman Oaks styling business. The suit alleges failure to prevent harassment and discrimination, as well as numerous violations of the California state Labor Code.
“Throughout Mr. Ericson’s employment, Ms. Ehrlich subjected him to a hostile work environment based on sexual orientation,” the suit alleges. “The comments made by Ms. Ehrlich were offensive and/or unwelcome.”
Ericson seeks at least $1 million in compensatory damages, restitution, and punitive damages.
Ericson was initially hired in 2015 and was tasked with receiving and shipping packages for client fittings, managing client fittings, coordinating with tailors and working with Ehrlich on her personal business and travel schedule.
According to the suit, Ericson was subject to gay slurs in front of other employees, accused of using his sexual orientation to form a “gay alliance” with another homosexual agent against Ehrlich, and was forced to discipline other male homosexuals in the office for behaving “too gay.” On one occasion, Ehrlich allegedly told Ericson that his sexuality made her uncomfortable, and to “tone down the gayness,” the suit claims.
Ehrlich allegedly also initially welcomed Ericson, remarking that he was a “nice, sweet boy,” but changed her approach towards him given his sexual orientation.
Ehrlich also is stated to have undermined Ericson’s workplace performance in front of clients such as Priyanka Chopra, Brie Larson, Alison Brie, and Laura Dern.
She also forced Ericson into conversations mocking his sexual orientation by joking that she was a lesbian, and following that such a choice would be a last resort, the suit claims.
Ehrlich would often require Ericson to stay in the office past his hours and skip meal breaks, during which she would become intoxicated and make personal phone calls, the suit alleges. Ericson eventually resigned from his position in March 2020, as he could no longer endure the alleged exploitative work conditions.
Shawn Holly, the attorney representing Cristina Ehrlich, released this statement to Los Angeles: “Ms. Ehrlich has a well-earned reputation for excellence and integrity in her industry that will not be tarnished by the ridiculous and salacious accusations made by a disgruntled former employee. We intend to respond in our court filings with the true version of events which will tell a very different story.”
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