VIDEO: Animation reenacts 'Filner headlock'

Stacy McKenzie files lawsuit against ex-mayor

SAN DIEGO - An animated video reenactment provided by the attorney of one of Bob Filner's accusers shows the so-called "Filner headlock" allegedly being used on the woman.

The video, commissioned by attorney Dan Gilleon, depicts an alleged interaction between Stacy McKenzie, district manager of Mission Bay Park, and the former San Diego mayor.

On Wednesday, Gilleon filed a lawsuit on behalf of McKenzie. She is the second city employee to sue Filner and the city, and 10News learned she is seeking $500,000.

McKenzie claims Filner approached her on April 21 at the Clairemont Days event at North DeAnza Cove in Mission Bay, asked her if she had a boyfriend or a husband, and then asked her on a date.

McKenzie said she got away, but Filner pursued her across the park, came up from behind, and put her in what has become known as the "Filner headlock."

As he held McKenzie, Filner asked two other female city employees, "Isn't she great?" He then said to all three women, "Just to let you know, I like to get really close to my city employees," according to the lawsuit.

Gilleon said the animated reenactment of McKenzie's version of events will be used to help prove his client's case.

Gilleon said the events at the park were witnessed by two park rangers.

"The animation helps tell Stacy's story, but it's just a starting point. For this initial release, we downplayed some of the more severe acts by Filner, such as the initial handlock and the later headlock that included his elbow rubbing her breasts. The story and animation will be developed as depositions occur, such as when the two park rangers depicted in the animation testify. Although we've been using animation for years for auto accident cases, it's fairly cutting edge for sexual harassment lawsuits. Most men will act like Boy Scouts when they know they're being filmed. Sexual harassment usually occurs behind closed doors, when no cameras around. We hope that the employers out there who regularly sexually harass their employees with impunity will think twice when they realize their actions may end up on a screen in front a jury someday, in the form of an animation," said Gilleon.

The lawsuit is the second to be filed against Filner. His former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, filed a $1.5 million suit against him and the city.

At least 20 women came forward, saying Filner made inappropriate advances toward them over his years in politics.

In a criminal case, Filner pleaded guilty to sexually harassing three women and was sentenced to probation and three months of home confinement.

Gilleon said his client is not looking to gouge the city and is willing to listen to any fair settlement offer.

Watch the full video in the media player. YouTube version:

Print this article Back to Top