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Following a summer controversy about inequal pay among Hawaii Five-0 stars, CBS is facing a lawsuit from a woman who says she was repeatedly harassed by a co-worker for more than a year while working on the show.
Locations assistant and office manager Kelly Tolar claims Jake Downer, a locations scout for the series, “acted aggressively, unprofessionally, offensively, abusively and/or in a threatening manner.” She also claims his father, Hawaii Five-0 executive producer Jeffrey Downer, retaliated against her. Tolar’s complaint, which is posted below, was initially filed in Hawaii state court but on Monday was remanded to federal court.
Tolar says she sent a March 27, 2015, memo to several managers telling them that Jake Downer “tells me every day that I should kill myself” and that he called her a “‘stupid fucking idiot,’ ‘retard’ and ‘dumb ass.'” She also claims he would rhetorically ask her what she was going to do about it, noting, “I’ll just tell my dad.”
A few months later, Tolar says she texted her manager with another complaint, saying, “Jake is such an asshole. I’m so over him. … I can’t deal with this shit everyday.” She also said, “If this can’t be fixed one of us needs to go.”
In November 2015, Tolar says her supervisor addressed Jake’s behavior with him but says he was never officially reprimanded. In December 2015, she filed a report with the Honolulu Police Department.
Tolar’s lawsuit details other alleged harassment, including Jake putting thumbtacks on her chair, threatening to poison the office water, grabbing her neck, photographing her in the office, leaving threatening or mocking post-it notes in her workspace and regularly telling her his dad thinks she’s a “fucking idiot.”
Tolar claims Jeffrey knew or should have known about her repeated complaints about his son and failed to follow company policy, which required prompt investigation of the alleged wrongdoing.
“Jeff Downer treated the complaints and allegations as insubstantial, exaggerated or a mere nuisance,” states the complaint, which also claims he told several supervisors that “his son better be able to come to the office after Christmas” and “someone needed to go, and it was not going to be Jake Downer.”
While much of the complaint is dedicated to allegations involving Jake, Tolar also claims she had an intimate relationship with a manager in another department while working on the series. She says she ended the relationship, but the manager continued to contact her and she claims he showed nude photos of her to co-workers.
Tolar is suing CBS, Eye Productions, Entertainment Partners, Jeffrey Downer and Jake Downer. Her claims include workplace harassment, sexual harassment, breach of employment contract, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. She also is pursuing assault and battery claims against Jake Downer.
CBS has not yet responded to a request for comment.
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