Phoenix TV journalists file sexual harassment lawsuit in New York
Two employees of Hong Kong-based Phoenix television and a job applicant filed suit Tuesday against the company in New York after allegations of sexual harassment against its former bureau chief.
Attorneys for the women accused Phoenix of employing Liu Zhengzhu as head of operations in the United States for more than a decade despite being aware of sexual harassment allegations against him.
The lawsuit comes after previous legal claims against Liu, including one filed by a former intern in New York, and a separate action filed by four former employees in Washington.
The latest lawsuit accuses Liu of subjecting the three women to “unwanted touching and obscene comment” at the office.
Liu is alleged to have “lured female employees and interns to his hotel room, under the pretense of work, where he attempted to have sex with them in exchange for career advancement.”
Two of the women in the latest case are reporters in Phoenix’s New York office.
They accuse Liu of repeatedly harassing them during their employment.
The third plaintiff is a woman who applied for a job with the company. She claims Liu refused to hire her after she rejected his advances.
“Liu preyed on the most vulnerable young women -- those beginning careers and without family in America,” the women’s attorneys said in a statement.
“Victims feared speaking out as a result and suffered severe anxiety and depression.”
The case came to light in August 2012 after one woman captured a sexual assault on tape. More than 10 former or current employees wrote letters of support and agreed to serve as witnesses.
Liu was dismissed from the company in December 2012.