- Last Updated: 2:50 PM, December 1, 2012
- Posted: 1:36 AM, December 1, 2012
They weren’t friendly skies.
Billionaire former Sotheby’s owner Alfred Taubman repeatedly fondled his female flight attendant, attempted to rip off her clothing and tried to perform oral sex on her aboard his private plane, the woman charges in a $29 million lawsuit.
Nicole Rock, 38, says the married 88-year-old father of three made her six years of employment a sexual-harassment hell.
* Several times Taubman intentionally brushed against her breasts and forcefully kissed her.
* He forced her hand on his crotch on one occasion and tore a hole in her panty-hose when he grabbed her crotch on another.
* During a flight, Taubman pushed Rock onto his bed in the rear cabin of his plane, “forcefully attempted to perform oral sex on her” and screamed at her, “I said, ‘Lay down!’ ”
* On several flight layovers, he asked her “in a belligerent tone, ‘How was your layover. Did you f--k anybody?’ ”
On other occasions, he allegedly tore buttons off her blouse and forced his tongue into her ear and mouth.
Taubman, who Forbes estimates is worth $2.9 billion, is sometimes credited with pioneering the building of shopping malls.
He’s also known for buying Sotheby’s in 1983, but being caught up in a price-fixing scandal at the auction house that led him to be fined $7 million and serve roughly nine months in prison in 2002-2003.
His office said the charges filed by Rock in Detroit federal court “are not true.”
“Mr. Taubman will address the complaint through the appropriate legal channels,” it added.
Rock, who is not married, was hired by Taubman’s airline company in 2005.
In December 2009, she told him she was pregnant and he angrily asked her “inappropriate and unacceptable questions” about the pregnancy and said she should have gotten an abortion, the suit charges.
He told her she “ruined her f--king life,” it said.
Rock went on disability leave that month, but Taubman told her “she was lucky to work for him and she was taking a long vacation.”
Rock gave birth in February 2010 but was forced to return to work in March, a month early, and was then allegedly pelted by Taubman with hostile comments — including that she was selfish to have her baby.
According to the complaint, Rock was awarded disability leave in February 2011 because of the “extreme stress, anxiety, fearfulness and depression” she experienced as a result of her work conditions. She never went back to work for Taubman.
The Detroit News reported that Rock sued her daughter’s father, the chief pilot for Taubman’s airplane company, for child support.