A crusading girls’s-rights lawyer and the chief of the Hollywood-backed Time’s Up nonprofit is defending Goldman Sachs in opposition to a feminine whistleblower who claims she was fired for elevating the alarm in opposition to sexual misconduct on the bank.
Roberta Kaplan, the chair of the Time’s Up governing board of administrators and co-founder of the Time’s Up Authorized Protection Fund, entities dedicated to serving to sex-harassment victims, is representing the Wall Street banking large and two of its high legal professionals in a lawsuit introduced in opposition to them final month by Marla Crawford, a former affiliate normal counsel for Goldman.
In authorized papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court docket, Crawford, 57, claims she was canned after she tried to hunt assist for a feminine worker who was allegedly sexually preyed upon by Darrell Cafasso, 44, the corporate’s world head of litigation.
Crawford’s Nov. 12 lawsuit in opposition to Goldman Sachs, Cafasso and normal counsel Karen Seymour, 59, accuses them of “permitting a workplace where sexual harassment is covered up and the powerful are cloaked with immunity.”
When Crawford tried to talk up on behalf of the worker, recognized as “Jane Doe” in courtroom papers, “the result was a broadside attack on her performance and then terminating her after more than 10 years of exemplary performance,” courtroom papers say.
Now critics say that Kaplan, 54, who has lengthy been an advocate for homosexual and girls’s rights, needs to comb all the things underneath the rug, calling for confidential arbitration — a authorized maneuver roundly condemned by the Time’s Up group.
Time’s Up has lengthy battled in opposition to confidential agreements that enable “serial predators and harassers … to silence victims,” in response to the group’s web site.
“Both arbitration agreements and non-disclosure agreements have been used to keep harassment and violence in the dark,” stated Fatima Goss Graves, a co-founder of the Time’s Up Authorized Protection Fund and president and CEO of the Nationwide Ladies’s Regulation Heart, in an interview with NPR final 12 months.
David Gottlieb, Crawford’s Manhattan lawyer, famous the hypocrisy.
“Ms. Kaplan’s resolution to assist Goldman Sachs drive Ms. Crawford’s claims right into a secretive, confidential arbitration discussion board is the antithesis of what the Time’s Up Authorized Protection Fund stands for,” he instructed The Publish.
The Time’s Up group, which incorporates Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Chastain and Alyssa Milano on its world board of administrators, was arrange by Hollywood producers and legal professionals two years in the past within the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment scandal and the beginning of the #metoo motion. It helped Kaplan, Goss Graves and one other lawyer, Tina Tchen, arrange the Time’s Up Authorized Protection Fund to assist girls battle in opposition to sexual harassment. Tchen can be the president and CEO of the Time’s Up Basis.
The Fund is managed by the Nationwide Ladies’s Regulation Heart, a Washington DC-based nonprofit. In 2018, its inaugural 12 months, the Time’s Up group contributed $312,001 to the fund on the identical time that Time’s Up spent the largest chunk of its contributions — $1,407,032 — on government salaries, The Publish revealed final week.
Time’s Up claims that the Fund has linked greater than 4,000 individuals with attorneys and “is committed to spending nearly $11 million on over 250 legal cases,” in response to a press release on the Time’s Up web site. However tax filings for 2018 present that the Fund spent simply over $1.7 million, serving to 3,000 individuals. More moderen monetary knowledge is unavailable because the group has refused to point out its newest federal submitting, which was due on Nov. 15. Time’s Up stated its audited monetary assertion and tax submitting can be posted on its web site in mid December.
A spokeswoman for the Nationwide Ladies’s Regulation Heart instructed The Publish, “Ms. Kaplan’s resolution to symbolize Goldman Sachs within the matter at hand was made in her private capability, and with no involvement by the TIME’S UP Authorized Protection Fund.”
Kaplan, who owns a $3.Three million dwelling in East Hampton, lately served as actress Amber Heard’s lawyer in an unpleasant $50-million defamation case introduced by ex-husband Johnny Depp. Kaplan withdrew from the case, citing excessive journey and logistics prices, earlier this 12 months. She can be representing E. Jean Carroll, who’s suing President Trump for an alleged sexual assault.
The lawsuit in opposition to Goldman Sachs alleges that the married Cafasso used his place “to romantically prey upon” a 30-something feminine colleague. “Mr. Cafasso’s obsession with Jane Doe grew so strong that he even blamed her for his misconduct, telling her ‘You’re a temptress’ and ‘You’re the Devil’s pawn,’” in response to paperwork.
For her half, Seymour, who reportedly took dwelling $8.37 million in 2019 and is among the many high 5 highest paid executives on the monetary large, allegedly tried to cowl up the misconduct, telling a senior lawyer, “Let’s try to put this genie back in the bottle,” courtroom papers say.
Moderately than cope with the state of affairs Crawford uncovered, the bank employed an out of doors legislation agency to conduct “a bogus investigation” that “put secrecy above fact-finding,” courtroom papers say. Crawford, a confidante of the alleged sufferer, was not interviewed and when she approached human assets along with her data “the response was that she should keep her mouth shut,” courtroom papers say.
Cafasso returned to work after two weeks and Jane Doe, who was represented by firebrand girls’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, was “likely paid a sum of money and forced out of the bank,” courtroom papers say.
Cafasso retaliated in opposition to Crawford, giving her low efficiency scores, lowering her bonus and refusing to work along with her, in response to courtroom paperwork.
Authorized papers filed by Kaplan and her staff allege that Crawford, a lawyer, voluntarily entered right into a confidential arbitration settlement in exchange for a payout final 12 months and left the agency as a result of she refused to relocate to Dallas. “Crawford’s allegations about that unrelated personnel matter, the resulting investigation, and the Firm’s actions with respect to her employment are patently and demonstrably false,” courtroom papers say.
A spokeswoman for Time’s Up stated the group has publicly supported the litigation in opposition to Goldman Sachs.
“TIME’S UP routinely calls on companies to lead by example and to right wrongs when they are exposed,” stated Amanda Harrington. “We known as out Goldman Sachs when this story was first reported, Ms. Kaplan’s selections relating to this case are made in her private skilled capability with none involvement from Time’s Up.”
Kaplan refused remark, however a spokesperson for her legislation agency, Kaplan Hecker and Fink, stated, “As our current courtroom submitting explains — this case was introduced by a plaintiff looking for to use her tangential consciousness of an unrelated personnel matter…by publicly exposing one other girl’s private expertise and by groundlessly complaining in regards to the steps taken by the General Counsel of Goldman Sachs to make sure that the state of affairs was correctly investigated and addressed.”