£7m employment tribunal no nearer a conclusion

The
banker suing Merrill Lynch for more than £7m was yesterday accused of putting a
‘gender spin’ on incidents because she resented her male boss, Ausaf Abbas.

Stephanie
Villalba, the bank’s former
head of European private banking, claims she faced sexual discrimination and
was unfairly dismissed.

The
Croydon Employment Tribunal
in South London, previously heard that she was
humiliated when she was made to sit in a stewardess’s seat and serve drinks to
colleagues on a corporate jet.

However,
under cross-examination, Villalba
admitted that she was sitting closest to the drinks cabinet and colleagues had
poured the drinks she gave out themselves.

Nicolas
Underhill QC
for Merrill Lynch, asked:
“Why is it conceivably humiliating for the person nearest the drinks cabinet to
be asked to get drinks out for the other passengers?

“I
suggest to you about these incidents that they did not happen in the way you
said they did,” Underhill said. “You dredged them up and distorted them so as
to give a gender spin on your resentment of Mr Abbas.”

Villalba denied this was true.

The
case continues.

Michael Millar 

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