Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

Mariah Carey Blackmailed for $8M, Lawsuit Claims

Mariah Carey, a self proclaimed diva in the pop music world, has decided enough is enough, and has sued her former personal assistant for a host of bad deeds in Los Angeles Superior Court, including blackmail.

Lianna Shakhnazarian, also knows as Lianna Azarian, was Carey's assistant from 2015 until November 2017. During that time, according to Carey, Azarian stole money, furniture, and clothes from her, and created unauthorized videos of Carey. The pop star further claims Azarian said if she were every fired, she'd extort Carey with the videos for $8 million. Azarian clapped back, filing a lawsuit of her own that same day against Carey's management team for harassment, claiming a hostile work environment.

Allegations of Stealing Money, Clothes, and Furniture

According to Carey's lawsuit, Azarian was given deep access into Carey's personal and professional life as her assistant, and was paid well for the job at over $325,000 per year, plus many perks, such as flying first class with Carey. However, Carey claims Azarian stole from her, pocketing change from purchases, keeping Carey's furniture after agreeing to merely store it for a period of time, and "a closet full of expensive clothing and handbags that belong to or were paid for by Mariah," according to the lawsuit.

Azarian Allegedly Blackmailed Mariah With Secret Video

What's perhaps more troubling are the claims of blackmail. In the suit, Carey also accuses Azarian of invasion of privacy, breach of a nondisclosure agreement, and extortion for discussing private information about Carey's personal and business life and sharing secretly recorded videos of Carey with co-workers and friends.

Carey describes the videos as "intimate" and "personally embarrassing." Carey claims when she confronted her personal assistant, Azarian threatened to release the videos and other personal information if she did not receive $8 million. Carey is seeking no less than $3 million, an injunction barring Azarian from releasing any videos, a court order to destroy the video footage, and return of all of the stolen goods. According to the lawsuit, Azarian "turned out to be a grifter, a Peeping Tom(asina) and an extortionist."

Azarian Files Her Own Lawsuit for Harassment

Just hours after Carey filed her lawsuit, Azarian filed one of her own for wrongful termination. She claims Carey's management team, most notably Carey's former manager, Stella Bulochnikov, was physically and verbally abusive and created a hostile work environment. Azarian claims Bulochnikov made racist comments to Azarian and slapped her on the butt and breasts. She also claims she was tackled to the ground by Bulochnikov, sat on and urinated on. Azarian is seeking reimbursement of $600,000 worth of purchases, as well as damages for lost wages and medical costs due to emotional and physical distress.

Neither Carey's or Azarian's claims describe an average workday for most Americans. It's no wonder they call Los Angeles La-La Land.

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