Mariah Carey's former assistant has responded to the singer's legal action by launching a lawsuit of her own featuring allegations of wrongful termination and sexual harassment.
On Wednesday (16Jan19), it was reported that the We Belong Together hitmaker had launched a lawsuit against Lianna Azarian, who also goes by Lianna Shaknazarian, who allegedly filmed Mariah without her knowledge during her time as the singer's executive assistant from March 2015 to November 2017, and threatened to release the "embarrassing" and potentially damaging videos unless she was given $8 million (£6.2 million).
Azarian responded by filing her own lawsuit against Mariah and her former manager Stella Bulochnikov, among others, on Wednesday in which she made a host of allegations including wrongful termination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, sexual harassment, emotional distress, and battery.
In the lawsuit, she claims Bulochnikov committed various acts of abuse against her, including slapping her butt and breasts, urinating on her, tackling her to the ground, sitting on her and calling her a "f**king Armenian w**re". Azarian also claimed Mariah either had knowledge of, or witnessed, the alleged incidents and did nothing about them, and when she reported Bulochnikov's behaviour directly to Mariah she was fired.
She has also accused the singer of committing acts of physical, emotional and psychological abuse against her too.
After Mariah's lawsuit news was made public, her representative issued a statement calling Azarian a "grifter and extortionist".
"This new year welcomes Mariah's continued efforts to clean the trash from her life," the statement read. "Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit against her. Given that the evidence against this former assistant is vast and deplorable, we anticipate a victorious resolution."
The former assistant's lawyer Mark Quigley called the allegations made against his client "baseless" and said they were an attempt to deflect attention away from her own legal action. He added, "My client never did anything she wasn’t specifically asked to do."
Mariah and Bulochnikov parted ways in late 2017. In April, the manager launched a lawsuit claiming she was owed more than $100 million (£77.9 million) in commissions, and they recently reached an undisclosed settlement.