Australia’s David Jones hit with multi-million dollar lawsuit

A publicist is suing Australia’s
poshest department store and its former head for $33 million dollars over
alleged sexual misconduct that led to the disgraced chief executive’s resignation.

“I have now commenced legal
proceedings,” said 25-year-old Kristy Fraser-Kirk after filing documents
in the federal court claiming Mark McInnes, the former chief executive of the upmarket
David Jones stores, made unwelcome sexual advances and comments to her.

Fraser-Kirk alleged in her
statement of claim that McInnes behaved inappropriately at a lunch in May and
at a function in June, placing his hand under her clothing and touching her bra
strap.

He also urged her to try a dessert
by suggesting it was similar to a sexual act, she alleged in the legal
documents.

McInnes abruptly quit in June after
claims of inappropriate behaviour were made.

Mark McInnes admitted behaving
“in a manner unbecoming of a chief executive to a female staff
member” at two functions, the company said, without giving further
details.

Fraser-Kirk is suing the store,
McInnes and nine David Jones directors claiming the company took no action to
address the inappropriate behaviour.

The figure for damages is equal to
five per cent of McInnes’ salary plus five per cent of the store’s profits
during the time McInnes worked there.

“I had high hopes for my
career at David Jones and I believe that I could have gone far in my career had
I been able to continue,” she said.

“I have tried my best to have
this matter resolved fairly and with justice, but that appears not to be possible
at the moment.”

If she does win punitive damages,
the publicist pledged she would give all the money to a charity that works with
victims of sexual misconduct at work.

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