Maria Sharapova's Crotch A Key Element in Dentsu Lawsuit
Adverganza picks up on a story about a former Dentsu employee, Steve Biegel, who while employed as a creative director for the agency in its New York office claims he was sexually harassed and has sued the agency. The suit claims Biegel's boss, Toyo Shigeta who heads Dentu's US operations "forced him into visiting brothels, distributed lewd pictures of, among other females, tennis star Maria Sharapova (specifically of her crotch), which Shigeta took on a Canon shoot in October 2004 and also insisted that Biegel and others hang out nude in a hot tub with him."
Aside from the fact that sounds like every day, normal behavior for a horny Japanese dude (OK, any dude), excepting, perhaps, the hot tub thing, Biegel says the events left him humiliated and degraded. Biegel complained, got fired and unleashed the legal eagles on Dentsu.
For it's part, Dentsu is downplaying the claim and plans to counterclaim, telling Advertising Age, "Steve Biegel is a former employee who was terminated almost a year ago. When Dentsu refused to yield to Mr. Biegel's unreasonable demands, he made outrageous allegations which the company has refuted. He has now filed a claim to obtain money to which he is not entitled, for incidents he alleges took place over three years ago and which he never complained about while an employee of Dentsu. The company intends to counterclaim that Mr. Biegel has libeled Dentsu and defrauded the company. We look forward to the opportunity to vindicate our company in court."
As with other law suits like this, there's always two sides to the story but one does have to wonder why an individual would go to the trouble and the cost of pursuing a mega-corp with unlimited resources unless there is some merit to the claim. It seems entirely plausible these events occurred and, in an effort to fit in as we all sometimes do, Biegel kept his mouth shut for a while. Why he waited three years to act is unclear. What is clear is we've got another salacious legal battle to fawn over while gearing up for that weekly bore-fest, the traffic meeting.