Nadine Nassar was sent late night suggestive text messages by her boss, Guy Oppenheim, telling her she reminded him of actress Kate Winslet and he would travel anywhere with her.
One of Oppenheim’s text messages read: “I was watching a movie yesterday with Kate Winslet. It is funny – you remind me of her.”
Days after turning down Oppenheim’s advances in March 2008, Nassar was sacked from her £136,000-a-year job at the London office of the Geneva-based asset management company Notz Stucki.
At an employment tribunal Oppenheim tried to justify the messages as an attempt to help Nassar settle into her new job and life in London.
But the tribunal ruled there was a “sexual dimension” to his messages and that Oppenheim’s behaviour amounted to sexual harassment.
Nassar’s case was brought too late to be considered under sex discrimination laws, but she successfully claimed unfair dismissal.
Oppenheim’s harassment began in 2006 before Nassar first joined Notz Stucki as a private client director, but intensified when she moved to the Mayfair office in January 2007.
Nassar made a formal complaint about Oppenheim’s sexual harassment in late March 2008, and days later in early April she was fired.
She said: “I was called into an office, without any prior warning, by Oppenheim, who simply said ‘This is not working out.’ He stated that I would have to leave immediately without any further notice. I felt devastated.”