High-Profile Hairdresser Faces Two Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

Andre Chreky, hair stylist to the Washington DC elite and longtime hairdresser to first lady Laura Bush, is facing sexual harassment charges for the second time in four months. In the latest lawsuit, Chreky’s former employee Ronnie Barrett alleges that she was fired for rebuffing Chreky’s sexual advances. The previous lawsuit, brought in September by former employee Jennifer Thong, contains similar charges and also claims that Chreky withheld wages and tips. Each woman is seeking a minimum of $4 million in damages.

According to Barrett’s lawsuit, Chreky offered Barrett access to the White House in exchange for a sexual liaison. When Barrett refused, Chreky allegedly retaliated by taking away clients, refusing to accommodate Barrett during her pregnancy, and eventually firing her. The lawsuit also alleges that Chreky once tried to force a sexual act but Barrett managed to push him away.

Barrett’s case will be handled by firm of Katz, Marshall & Banks, a civil rights and employment law firm that spoke out against a sexist dress code memo circulated in the US Office of Special Counsel (see Ms. National Short Takes in the Winter 2007 issue, on newsstands now).

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Associated Press 2/2/07; Washington Post 2/2/07; NBC4.com 2/1/07

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