According to a bombshell report in The New York Post, a new lawsuit alleges that an Upper East Side couple kept a Chilean nanny as a “virtual slave” for three months.
The woman, Felicitas del Carmen Villanueva Garnica, claimed in the lawsuit filed with the Manhattan federal court that she was physically abused by her employers’ three children, and kept in the U.S. under false pretenses, the Post reports.
The employers in question are Chilean aristocrats Malu Custer Edwards and Micky Hurley. Edwards is the descendant of Agustín Edwards McClure, a Chilean Diplomat who led the League of Nations in 1922, and Hurley is related to some of the Chile’s founding settlers, according to The Post.
The lawsuit alleges that the socialites met Villanueva in Chile in December 2010, and offered her $10 an hour to come live with them in New York City.
But instead of the agreed upon wage, Villanueva told the court she was only given $800 monthly to work 12-hour days without a single day off.
Other shocking allegations include that Villanueva was forbidden to speak to anyone outside the family, locked in the room with the children, who “repeatedly” hit her, and only allowed to eat small amounts of milk, yogurt, eggs, and bread.
“They brought me here to mistreat me,” Villanueva told The Post. “They were telling me I don’t have any rights of any sort.”
Villanueva finally left the family in March of 2011.
The couple has denied Villanueva’s allegations: “The claims are completely without merit and will be fully refuted in court,” their attorney Robin Alperstein told The Post.
However, it’s worth noting that in July 2011, the state Department of labour ordered the couple to pay Villanueva $6,302 in back wages, the Post reports.
You can read the full report over at The New York Post.
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