Staffers sue Lizzie Grubman for not paying them
BY KIERAN CROWLEY
New York Post Staff Writer
June 13, 2011
Notorious p.r. princess Lizzie Grubman could sure use a good publicist herself these days.
The 42-year-old celebrity rep — infamous for a 2001 hissy fit in which she ran down 16 people outside a Hamptons nightclub — is now being sued by her longtime chauffeur-bodyguard and a hairstylist for allegedly stiffing them as she battles money woes.
Former driver Tomas Gonzalez told The Post that the powerhouse publicist owes him $400,000.
“She took me for a ride,” griped Gonzalez, 60, who filed suit against his former boss in Manhattan federal court on Friday.
“I worked for her for 10 or 12 hours a day for the last 12 years,” earning $55,000 annually, he said. “She told me people weren’t paying her and she couldn’t pay me.”
Grubman’s male hairstylist, who works out of a chic Upper East Side salon, filed a civil suit against her three months ago, seeking payment for a raft of personal hair and beauty treatments, according to court documents.
Grubman declined comment. A source close to her denied Gonzalez’s charges and said Grubman wasn’t even aware of the stylist’s suit.
Gonzalez had worked for Grubman for years — well before July 7, 2001, when she backed her Mercedes SUV over a bouncer and partiers outside a Southampton club after the bouncer told her to move the vehicle.
Gonzalez’s lawyer, Neil H. Greenberg, said that up until this past Memorial Day weekend, when his client quit after not being paid a second time, the chauffeur had been “at her beck and call.”
“He would physically protect her,” Greenberg said. “She thought she could just run him over and get away with it without paying him.”
The source close to Grubman denied that she had money problems.
One Grubman worker insisted that “all employees are paid in full, including Tomas [Gonzalez].”
“She’s very hurt and shocked” by his suit, added the Grubman pal.
Grubman’s lawyer, John Rosenberg, said she “views these claims, brought by a disgruntled former employee, to be entirely without merit.”