Paul Mitchell Co-Owner Accused of Sexual Misconduct
A former employee is suing John Paul Mitchell Systems for allowing Angus Mitchell to use the workplace "as a hunting ground to find women to date and have sex with."
Angus Mitchell, son of Paul Mitchell and co-owner of John Paul Mitchell Systems, has been accused of sexual misconduct by a former employee.
According to a sex discrimination lawsuit filed Monday in California's Central District, Mitchell coerced Tally Rossi, who was hired as a project manager for media/education in Los Angeles in 2012, into a sexual relationship. She claims she was retaliated against in the workplace following the dissolution of their relationship.
A representative at Paul Mitchell School's corporate office told The Hollywood Reporter via phone call that the school was unaware of the allegations and that "this is a place of education, not a place of gossip."
Rossi is suing John Paul Mitchell Systems for allowing Angus Mitchell to use the workplace "as a hunting ground to find women to date and have sex with." She alleges that around September 2015, Mitchell, who was in the midst of a divorce, invited her to his home and kissed her against her consent. She says she then rebuffed further advances. However, a few months later, Rossi claims that Mitchell pressured her to take ecstasy. She says she "felt pressured by Mitchell and fearful for her job," according to the suit, and took the drug; they then had sex. Rossi alleges that co-owner and co-founder John Paul DeJoria and president Luke Jacobellis were made aware of the relationship between her and Mitchell.
After their relationship ended in January 2016, Rossi asserts that she faced retaliation at work. She was removed from photoshoots and scheduled trainings, demoted and transferred to a different department that she was untrained for, and earned poor reviews.
In March 2016, Rossi states that she had one last sexual encounter with Mitchell after she approached him to discuss the retaliation. She says she submitted to him because she feared greater negative consequences. Rossi says that he asked her not say anything about their relationship, and the following day wired her $50,000. When she brought the issue to Jacobellis and said she no longer felt comfortable being employed at John Paul Mitchell Systems, she was asked "whether she wanted to leave immediately or at the end of the day.”
Rossi is suing for loss of salary and benefits and mental distress, as well as intangible loss of employment-related opportunities.