LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Los Angeles County jury has awarded a staggering $58.25 million in punitive and compensatory damages to a woman who claims she was sexually harassed while working as a production assistant for a billionaire hologram producer.
The L.A. County Superior Court jury deliberated for only an hour Monday before awarding 36-year-old Mahim Khan $50 million in punitive damages along with the $8.25 million she had already been awarded last week against 51-year-old Alki David.
Khan said she was groped and sexually harassed while worked for David in 2014-15. She wept as she heard the verdict, and several people in the courtroom audience gasped.
Khan’s lawyer, Nathan Goldberg, held a news conference with attorney Gloria Allred, Monday afternoon, where he described the plaintiff’s allegations.
“He walked into Ms. Khan’s cubicle while she was working, swivel her chair until she faced him, and then grabbed her neck and thrust it towards his pelvic area while making moaning sounds,” said Goldberg, adding the scenario happened “two or three times” every week.
The jury found that David committed sexual battery and acted with malice, oppression or fraud against Khan. The panel also concluded that David and two of his companies, Alki David Productions and FilmOn TV, subjected Kahn to a hostile work environment.
David represented himself during the earlier stages of the trial, but the judge stripped him of that right and limited the defense he could present after he made repeated outbursts in court in violation of her orders to refrain from lashing out at Khan and her attorneys and to cease commenting about the case in front of the jury.
David was behind the hologram technology that brought slain rapper Tupac Shakur to Coachella in 2012 and saw the late Michael Jackson moonwalk at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.
He did not appear at Monday’s hearing. He denied any wrongdoing concerning Khan, who was hired in October 2014 and quit about a year later.
David has already been found liable in two other sexual harassment cases this year. Last month, 36-year-old Lauren Reeves won more than $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages against David. In April, 42-year-old Chasity Jones was awarded $11 million in damages against David. She later agreed to a reduction to about $445,000.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)