Eddie Money’s drummer, Glenn Symmonds sued for wrongful termination in October. More recently, his fiancé decided to join the suit with sexual harassment claims against Money. The original discrimination suit claimed that Money mocked his disabilities on stage and sexually harassed his fiancé (with repeated lewd advances). The sexual harassment claims were included in an amended lawsuit that was filed in California state court.
When Symmonds was fired, he claimed it was due to his age and disabilities (stemming from a combination of bladder cancer and a back injury). He also claimed that the sexual harassment of his fiancée, Tami Landrum, resulted in emotional distress. The case has recently been moved from Sacramento to Los Angeles.
In defining the “sexual harassment” she endured, Landrum states that Money made sexual comments to her repeatedly and frequently attempted to kiss her. Money also made lewd gestures at Landrum after dedicating a song to her on stage, etc. Symmonds stated that Money mocked his urinary incontinence (a result of chemotherapy) on stage, telling the audience that their tour was sponsored by Depends adult diapers.
According to the suit, the problem peaked in May of 2015 when Money dragged Landrum, Symmond’s fiancé, into a bathroom and blocked her exit. Symmonds confronted Money after Landrum told him of the situation and the entire band was laid off the next week. Within months, the entire band was back at work except Symmonds and Landrum. The two claim this is due to the confrontation and Symmonds’ disabilities previously noted.
Money’s legal counsel dismisses the lawsuit as “ridiculous” and points out that the addition of the sexual harassment claims only occurred when Symmonds realized that his age discrimination lawsuit had no merit. They claim that the plaintiffs shamelessly seek to “shake down” Eddie because he is famous.
Money claims that the entire band was released for the summer as Money intended to tour with his children. The plan the entire time was for the band to rejoin him at the end of the season. Several of the band members were disappointed, but according to Money, Symmonds and Landrum responded very poorly by writing disparaging posts online, claiming they had been fired, calling and leaving messages with concert promoters threatening them and advising them not to pay Money, etc. Money claims his decision not to invite Symmonds back to the band was not related to his age, any illness or disability or any alleged difficulties with his fiancé. He claims it was due strictly to the inappropriate reaction the plaintiff had upon hearing that Money planned to tour with his adult children for the summer.
If you have questions regarding workplace discrimination or sexual harassment on the job, please get in touch with the experienced employment law attorneys from southern California’s Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.