After Antonella Barba was booted from the Top 16 last week I wrote, “…now on to the next scandal.” *Looks at watch* And in less than 5 days, here we are.
Magdaleno Olmos filed his suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging wrongful termination and violation of the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. He is asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Along with American Idol Productions Inc. and former contestant Mario Vasquez, named defendants are Fremantlemedia North America Inc., Fox Entertainment Group Inc. and Fox Broadcasting Co., all listed in the lawsuit as co-owners of the popular show.
The lawsuit alleges that Vasquez withdrew from the show after Olmos came forward with his complaints and discussed them with executives and attorneys for American Idol Productions and the other defendants.
Olmos claims the sexual harassment began in February 2005.
On one occasion, Vasquez followed Olmos into a restroom at CBS Studios, where “American Idol” is taped, and knocked on the door of a stall Olmos had entered, according to his lawsuit.
When Olmos opened the door, Vasquez, who had lowered his pants, pushed him further into the stall, touched him in a sexual way and tried to unzip his pants while asking “if he wanted oral sex,” according to the lawsuit.
Olmos claims he was able to get out of the restroom, though Vasquez grabbed his arm to try to stop him from leaving.
Olmos chose the restroom over one that was closer to the “American Idol’ stage because he wanted to avoid running into the show’s participants, according to his lawsuit.
Due to Vasquez’s celebrity status, Olmos “was afraid to defend himself physically against Vasquez’s sexual harassment and battery for fear of losing his job,” the lawsuit states.
When Olmos complained to a supervisor, the latter questioned whether he initiated the incident, according to his court papers. He also claims the supervisor told him nothing could be done and that he would probably be fired for reporting the alleged harassment.
EEP. I have no comment, really, except that I always found the vague reasons Mario gave for leaving at the time–that he had personal matters he needed to address–a little odd. Later, he confessed that he just did not want to sign the Top 12 contract.
More grist for the Idol scandal mill, to be sure. Stay tuned.