Ex-nanny's lawsuit against actress Sharon Stone moves forward

Woman claims Stone racially abused her

LOS ANGELES - A woman who worked as Sharon Stone's former live-in nanny can move forward with her lawsuit alleging she was subjected to repeated racial abuse due to her Filipino ethnicity and was fired for accepting overtime pay lawfully due her, a judge said in a final ruling issued Friday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel issued a preliminary ruling Thursday, saying Erlinda Elemen's lawyers had provided sufficient details in her complaint to support for now her allegations of harassment, failure to prevent harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination. However, she said the plaintiff's attorney, Solomon Gresen, would have to provide more facts to substantiate Elemen's claim for violation of the unfair competition law.

Friday, Strobel affirmed her tentative ruling. Gresen said he will drop the unfair competition law claim.

"We're pleased that the judge recognized that the plaintiff's claims should proceed," Gresen said. "We look forward to our July (30) trial date."

In a motion to dismiss Elemen's case, Stone's attorneys maintained the plaintiff had not shown the frequency of the alleged harassment, that she was not entitled to whistleblower protection on her retaliation claim and that some of her allegations were filed too late.

Elemen sued last May 23 alleging that Stone made derogatory comments about her accent and instructed her not to speak to her employer's children to avoid them learning to "talk like you."

Defense attorney Daniel Gutenplan told Strobel that the alleged comments by Stone about Elemen's ethnicity did not prove harassment and had no bearing on the woman's workplace conditions.

"All we have is that Ms. Stone made comments about Filipino food, Filipino accents," Gutenplan said.

The lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, unpaid wages and penalties on allegations of harassment and wrongful termination, asserts that Stone insulted Elemen's religious beliefs, criticized her for attending church and once forbade the housekeeper to read the Bible in her house.

According to the complaint, Elemen began working for Stone in October 2006 as an assistant nanny caring for one of her children.

In 2008, she says she was promoted to head nanny and began to take care of all three of Stone's kids, and started to travel with the children for extended periods. With the promotion, Elemen moved into Stone's Los Angeles home, where she remained until she was given the boot in February 2011, according to her court papers.

Elemen maintains she sometimes worked seven days a week caring for the children. She claims that in January 2011, Stone was upset to learn that Elemen was being paid overtime when traveling with the children, on holidays and other occasions.

Stone accused Elemen of "stealing" from her by taking the overtime pay, and told the employee that it was "illegal" for her to have taken the pay, according to the complaint, which alleges that the 55-year-old "Basic Instinct" star asked for the money back.

Gresen said Elemen's paychecks were issued by a payroll hired by Stone.

Stone also was sued for wrongful termination Tuesday by a former housekeeper. Angelica Castillo alleges she was forced to work after injuring her back and that the actress called her "crazy" and "stupid."

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