Earlier this week, news broke that Mariah Carey is suing her former assistant, Lianna Shakhnazaryan, accusing the woman of secretly filming and then blackmailing her.
But as if that wasn’t wild enough, Shakhnazaryan is filing a suit of her own against Carey and Carey’s former manager, alleging that she was subjected to verbal and physical abuse while on the job, including being peed on (though not by Carey).
Here’s a breakdown of what exactly is going on with both lawsuits.
Carey claims that her former assistant extorted her.
On January 16, Carey sued the former executive assistant, who worked for her from March 2015 to November 2017.
Court documents obtained by People state that the singer is suing Shakhnazaryan, also known as Lianna Azarian, for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, extortion, and invasion of privacy.
Carey’s lawsuit alleges that Azarian “turned out to be a grifter, a Peeping Tom(asina) and an extortionist,” according to People. It also claims that Azarian secretly filmed Carey without her knowledge, “engaged in personal activities which, if revealed, Azarian knew would be personally embarrassing and professionally damaging to Mariah.”
According to the suit, Azarian threatened to use that footage to blackmail Carey if she fired her, which Carey did in 2017. Carey says that she had Azarian sign an NDA when she first started working for her, and that the secret recordings, plus the blackmail, violate that contract.
But that’s not all — the lawsuit also says that Azarian showed the videos to friends and co-workers, and told a co-worker that if she was fired, she would sell the videos to buy herself a new home.
Carey also said that she initially paid Azarian a salary of $250,000 but increased it to $327,000 “when Azarian asserted that she required additional compensation because of the required hours.” The suit also claims that the assistant regularly used credit cards meant for business purchases “for her personal benefit.”
Carey is now suing Azarian for $3 million.
“This new year welcomes Mariah’s continued efforts to clean the trash from her life,” a rep for Carey told People.
The assistant’s lawsuit alleges that she was assaulted at work.
Azarian has also filed her own lawsuit against Carey and Carey’s former manager, Stella Bulochnikov.
According to court documents obtained by BuzzFeed News, Azarian’s suit says that Bulochnikov held Azarian down and urinated on her multiple times, and allegedly lifted Azarian’s breasts and placed objects like iPhones, utensils, and remote controls beneath them. Bulochnikov also allegedly yelled at Azarian to “Get that Armenian bitch!” and “Move your fat Armenian ass!”
Azarian said Carey was aware of the conduct and also joined in committing physical, emotional, and psychological attacks.
Azarian is suing for lost wages and damages, and her lawyer told BuzzFeed that Carey’s suit is an attempt to get in front of the story and discredit her former assistant.
“My client never did anything she wasn’t specifically asked to do while working in the course and scope of her job as a personal assistant,” the attorney said. “Her lawsuit is about holding her employer accountable for severely inappropriate behavior that caused tremendous stress and emotional turmoil.”
Last year, Bulochnikov sued Carey for sexual harassment, claiming that the singer was often nude in front of her in the nearly three years that she worked for Carey. The two settled that lawsuit earlier this month.