VIP stylist Andre Chreky declares bankruptcy before second sexual harassment trial
On the eve of his second sexual-harassment trial, hairdresser Andre Chreky says he's bankrupt.
In papers filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Chreky and his attorneys notified the court that the corporation that oversees his celebrity salon at 16th and K streets NW had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Most of the time, a filing like this automatically postpones court cases -- such as the civil sexual-harassment lawsuit, scheduled to go to trial Monday.
But late Friday, presiding Judge Royce Lamberth alerted the two sides that he planned to go ahead with the trial -- and scheduled an early-morning hearing Monday to determine how the bankruptcy filing could affect the proceedings.
Two weeks ago, a federal court issued a judgment for $2.3 million against Chreky in the first of two harassment suits brought by former employees. Fourteen witnesses, testifying on behalf of colorist Ronnie Barrett, said that the salon owner had groped and otherwise harassed them or other employees. The second case, with similar allegations, was brought by stylist Jennifer Thong.
It's unclear what happened to Chreky's fortune or how the bankruptcy will affect the salon and its operations. In the first trial, he claimed $6 million in liquid assets (cash, property, etc.) and very few debts.
"At the end of this process, we're confident that Andre Chreky will be required to pay the verdict," said Debra Katz, an attorney for Barrett.
(Amy Argetsinger, a longtime client of Thong, did not participate in reporting this story.)
The Reliable Source
March 22, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
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