BY KIERAN CROWLEY
New York Post Staff Writer
August 30, 2011
A hired hand for a wealthy Westchester socialite says that his job description suddenly expanded from dog trainer to tawdry boy toy — and that he was fired after turning down the turned-on mistress of the manse.
Hunky dog whisperer Westley Artope claims in a suit filed in Man hattan federal court that his hot-and-both ered female boss — model-turned-society wife Paige Bluh dorn, 44 — repeat edly beckoned him to her bedroom at her and her rich hubby’s Bedford Hills estate while she was clad only in skimpy shorts and a T-shirt or naked under a robe, sprawled on the bed.
She absolutely made passes at me,” said Artope, who started taking care of the couple’s three Great Danes, two pugs and one Chihuahua in September 2008.
“She did things that were inappropriate. She would call me into her bedroom several times, and she would basically flash me.” Artope, the father of four children, told The Post that when he protested to Bluhdorn that he had a wife, she coolly as sured him it was OK for them to fool around — because she, too, was married “and that was no reason not to become intimately involved,” according to court papers.
Artope said Bluhdorn even made advances toward him while her husband, former movie mogul Paul Bluhdorn — the son of Charles Bluhdorn, famed founder of the mega-Hollywood film studio Gulf+Western — was in the house.
“She exposed herself . . . She told me to sit on the bed next to her, but I didn’t. She was propositioning me,” Artope said of his boss, who’s served on the advisory board of the School of American Ballet alongside Chelsea Clinton and Sarah Jessica Parker and hobnobs with her husband in the Hamptons with the likes of Mayor Bloomberg.
One time, even after Artope’s repeated spurns, Paige took the dog trainer for a ride, grabbed his hand and said “that she wanted to sleep with me,” he said.
Paige Bluhdorn insisted “that she was attracted to him and wanted to engage in a sexual relationship with him,” the lawsuit charges.
She told him that “she was having marital problems and . . . that her husband was sexually inept,” court papers say.
“I want you more involved with me. I can make it a lot easier for you, Wes,” Paige Bluhdorn said, according to the suit.
When Artope continued to refuse her advances, she became angry and began criticizing his work, eventually banning him from the palatial home, the suit says.
Artope said he was fired in July 2009 after he complained about the hostility and reported the sex harassment to the estate manager.
“Sometimes, people think that having money gives you the right to treat people the way you like,” he said.
Artope’s lawyer, Neil Greenberg, who filed the suit last week, added, “Nobody should be fired for bringing the employer’s bad behavior to the attention of management. We’re not going to allow that to happen.”
The Bluhdorns could not be reached for comment.
Artope’s suit is at least the third filed against the well-heeled couple and involving employees.
Their former chauffeur sued them after claiming that they drove him to the brink of poverty by stiffing him on $250,000 in overtime payments.
An employment agency also sued the pair for $25,000 over the hiring fee of their former gourmet chef.