David Gest, the former husband of Liza Minnelli, has been sued by a former employee who claims he was sexually harassed.
Charles R. Beyer of Lakeland claims in a federal court lawsuit that he was harassed and humiliated by Gest while working as his personal assistant last July.
“David A. Gest made sexual comments, touched plaintiff in a sexual nature, wrote sexual comments in plaintiff’s calendar, paid another employee to touch plaintiff,” Beyer, 35, wrote in a complaint he filed himself.
Gest’s attorney, Edward Bearman, said his client tried to do Beyer a favor by giving him a temporary job that lasted only nine weeks.
“The guy just wouldn’t go away,” Bearman said Wednesday. “I think this is just a bogus attempt to get some money out of a celebrity and I’m not even sure he qualifies as an employee.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated, but did not substantiate Beyer’s claims.
Minnelli and Gest married March 16, 2002, at a celebrity-studded ceremony with Michael Jackson as best man and Elizabeth Taylor as maid of honor. They separated in July 2003 and filed for divorce later that year.
Gest moved to Memphis in 2004, when he staged the “David Gest’s All-Star Holiday Extravaganza” featuring Jane Russell, Petula Clark, Gale Storm, Patricia Neal and Tippi Hedren.