Andre Chreky, owner of the upscale Andre Chreky Salon Spa, located in the heart of Washington, DC just blocks from the White House, has found himself in yet another sexual harassment lawsuit. Now he and his business have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Chreky, whose high-end clientele have included Laura Bush and the Bush twins as well as many of DC’s elite, has been accused of sexual harassment by two former employees. In separate filings, Ronnie Barrett and Jennifer Thong claim that the multiple incidents of sexual harassment, abuse, and retaliation started in 2003.
Barrett claims that Chreky sexually harassed and abused her on several occasions, including a 2004 incident involving Chreky forcibly shoving Barrett into a chair and demanding oral sex. She was fired in 2006 following this incident. In March 2010, Chreky was found guilty of sexual harassment in a two-week trial where 14 witnesses testified on Barrett’s behalf. Chreky was ordered to pay $3.2 million in damages to Barrett.
Thong, whose court filing is very graphic and involves a multitude of incidents including attempted rapes, resigned in 2006 after she claims she was subjected to sexual demands, assault, intimidation, and other abuse by Chreky. When she rejected Chreky’s propositions, Thong says her boss retaliated, denying her clients and withholding tips.
According to court files, “repeatedly during 2005 and up to her termination, Mr. Chreky would grab her when he found her alone and push her head toward his genitals demanding that she ‘give him a blow job.'”
Barrett’s and Thong’s claims are supported by 16 sworn affidavits from former Chreky Salon Spa employees, nine of whom say they witnessed Chreky inappropriately touch both women. In addition, three of the witnesses claim that they were sexually approached or inappropriately touched by Chreky.
Chreky maintains his innocence in both cases and claims that Thong’s sexual harassment allegations stem from Chreky filing a 2006 $10 million lawsuit against Thong, who he claims broke a non-compete clause when she went to work too soon and too near his own salon after she resigned from the Chreky Salon Spa. Chreky denies any discrimination or harassment during the course of the women’s employment based on gender or sex.
Chreky’s attorneys report that they have worked out a deal with Barrett and Thong so that he can keep the salon open during the bankruptcy proceedings.
In mid-July, Chreky made an “offer to judgment” to Thong that would pay her an undisclosed amount before the lawsuit goes to trial next month.