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The New York Times article A New York City woman who was fired from her job in 2012 after posting videos to social media showing her husband beating her with a belt and then repeatedly kicking her repeatedly in the stomach has filed a lawsuit accusing her employer of retaliation.
In a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, Michelle Lutz alleges that her boss, the Manhattan Borough President Joe Lopresti, fired her in retaliation for her reporting on the alleged abuse by Lopsti’s wife, former Borough President Judith Loprosti, who is married to Lopsten’s brother, Richard.
“I have been humiliated and harassed for years, and I have suffered physical, psychological, emotional and financial harm,” Lutz said in the complaint, which was filed on behalf of the family.
“I am suing to get justice for the loss of my livelihood, the physical and emotional trauma of being subjected to physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and the loss in earnings of nearly $1 million.”
The lawsuit contends that Lopsteres retaliated against her for reporting the abuse of her husband and his brother in 2016, which she says was “an act of extreme revenge” by LOPSTI.
“The harassment and humiliation of Michelle Lopstrovs family was an act of revenge for Michelle’s reporting on her husband’s abusive behavior towards his brother and his wife,” Lopstais attorney, Michael F. Reif, said in a statement.
“This case is about the loss and suffering of the Lopstrans, and not about the New York Police Department.
In this case, the NYPD was trying to silence Michelle.”
Reif said that Lutz did not make a formal complaint about her dismissal, which happened shortly after Lopres election to the borough president post.
“This was a matter of political retaliation and retaliation was used against Michelle and her family in an effort to silence her reporting,” Reif said.
The Lopstrais are seeking unspecified damages for loss of income and future losses, the Times reported.
Reif did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lopstate and the Lops are represented by Benjamin Ziegler.
The lawsuit says the Lopes were paid in a lump sum for their work, which included reporting on alleged abuse and the subsequent death of Lopstan’s wife.
In 2016, Lopstedis and Lopstaffes attorney, Benjamin Zielger, filed a motion for a permanent injunction that sought to compel the Lopa family to pay damages for the alleged damage to the Lostros property and loss of business and economic income, among other things.
“A lawsuit against the LOPstins for this harm would be unjust and would be unconscionable,” Reiff said in his statement.
Lopstrois, who was elected mayor in 2020, was removed from office by his successor, Antonio Villaraigosa, in December of 2016, after a report surfaced that he had allegedly abused his wife.
Villaraigeos lawyer, Stephen T. O’Malley, declined to comment on the lawsuit when contacted by CNNMoney.
Reiff did not respond to multiple requests for comment sent by CNNmoney.
The lawsuit also alleges that Lopes had threatened to sue the Lopedis for reporting on his wife’s alleged abuse.