Soleil Bonnin is seeking more than $25 million in damages. Picture: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Soleil Bonnin is seeking more than $25 million in damages. Picture: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

IT worker claims she was ‘hired for sex’

A US WOMAN has claimed her manager plied her with alcohol and pressured her into having sex - and that other senior staff members knew about the inappropriate behaviour.

According to the Daily Beast, Soleil Bonnin met Joseph King at a Washington strip club where she was working as an adult dancer in July 2016.

Mr King was a senior IT department manager at high-profile American mortgage firm Fannie Mae at the time and despite Ms Bonnin having no qualifications or industry experience, he offered her a job.

Ms Bonnin claims she was hired to work in the company's IT department and that Mr King offered to mentor her.

However, she is now seeking more than $25 million in damages after alleging she was instead expected to have sex on demand with Mr King.

Ms Bonnin, who earned $112,504 a year in her role, alleges Mr King would pressure her into having sex, going on "work trips" that had nothing to do with the business and to "drink excessive amounts of alcohol".

The civil suit claims Mr King physically and sexually assaulted Ms Bonnin, and that a senior supervisor knew about the inappropriate behaviour and reimbursed Mr King for the cost of the trips and lunches.

"Fannie Mae promotes a culture that mistreats women, including hiring and paying them to have sex with upper management, and tolerates illegal, extreme, and abhorrent sexual harassment," the claim for damages states.

"King would verbally abuse plaintiff when she tried to socialise with other employees.

"He controlled every aspect of her day. Because of King's position at Fannie Mae, and her isolation from others, plaintiff feared losing her job if she did not co-operate with King's requests."

Ms Bonnin claimed she was afraid of being fired if she didn't give into Mr King's demands, but last year she got a protective court order against him.

Mr King was fired soon after.

In an email statement to CNN, a Fannie Mae spokesman said the company had "zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and harassment".

"We investigate allegations whenever we are made aware of them, and we take swift and decisive action when we establish inappropriate behaviour," the statement read.

alexis.carey@news.com.au


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