Former Chauffeur Sues Liza Minnelli

Posted on December 1, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK – Liza Minnelli's former chauffeur and bodyguard has sued her for $100 million, claiming she repeatedly beat him and forced him to have sex with her, court documents show.

M'Hammed Soumayah sued the diminutive 58-year-old superstar in New York State Supreme Court, alleging she fired him from his $238,000-a-year job and also failed to pay him $89,000 in back wages.

The 56-year-old father of two claims the Oscar-wining star of "Cabaret" repeatedly "hit and assaulted" him and forced him into sexual relations.

Soumayah claimed he put up with her "violent outbursts" and sexual harassment for a decade because he feared losing his high-paying job.

The chauffeur said that during 10 years of his employment, he, "without his consent, was forced to engage in sexual relations with Minnelli," who split up from her last husband, David Gest, last year.

He claimed he had "physical evidence of his sexual relationship with Minnelli. In the event that (Soumayah) resisted or protested, Minnelli would threaten him with termination," the suit said.

"Throughout the course of his employment, (Soumayah) was hit and assaulted by Minnelli repeatedly," the suit stated.

Gest filed a separate suit against Minnelli last year, claiming he was badly injured after frequent beatings by his wife, who he claimed had almost super-human strength during vodka-fueled rages.

Soumayah claims he was wrongfully fired in June without being told the reason.

When Minnelli found out she was being sued, she met with her former chauffeur and allegedly flew into a rage, beat him, then calmed down and demanded sex with him, he claimed.

"When (Soumayah) told her it was wrong of her to fire him, Minnelli became violent and accused (Soumayah) of betraying her," the suit claimed.

"She spat on him and told him that (the late fashion designer) Halston (his previous employer) would have spat on him as well," the suit added.

Soumayah is demanding $50 million in damages for the alleged assaults, $50 million in damages for sexual battery and $89,000 in back wages.

Minnelli's publicist had no comment on the suit or its allegations.

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