Alina Habba, a lawyer who represents Donald Trump, reportedly called New York Attorney General Letitia James a “black bitch.”
The suit was filed in a lawsuit alleging discrimination brought against Habba and his firm, Habba Madaio & Associates, by Na’syia Drayton, a black woman who worked there as a paralegal until recently. He was filed Tuesday in Middlesex County, New Jersey, according to online records.
Habba, who has represented Trump in a number of lawsuits, attacked James, calling her a “sick person” for her investigation into Trump’s business practices.
The lawsuit alleges that Habba’s behavior created a hostile work environment for Drayton, including through Habba’s tendency to repeatedly chant the n-word while blasting hip-hop music in the office.
He highlighted an April incident when Habba allegedly became furious after learning she had lost a legal argument against James, who is black.
That month, a Manhattan judge ordered Trump to fully respond to a subpoena from James and pay a daily fine of $10,000 a day until court demands are met.
The lawsuit alleged that after learning of her defeat, Habba came out of her office and yelled, “I hate that black bitch!” She then “started parading around the office while seething” about the judge, according to the lawsuit.
Drayton was “appalled by the racist remarks” and “felt amazed” that her supervisor “felt comfortable and entitled to make such statements” in the workplace and in her presence.
According to the lawsuit, Drayton was the only African-American employee of Habba Madaio & Associates, a relatively new and small firm based in Bedminster, New Jersey, which is also home to the Trump National Golf Club.
Drayton had worked with Habba at her previous firm between 2017 and 2019 and was recruited by Habba to join new Habba Madaio & Associates in November 2021. Drayton “had some reservations” about returning to work for Habba, according to the lawsuit, but she accepted mainly because she was unemployed at the time after being laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first two months there were like “a honeymoon,” according to the lawsuit. But soon, Habba’s behavior made Drayton uncomfortable at work.
Habba and her partner, Michael Madaio, regularly performed and sang to music with sexually explicit and offensive lyrics that made Drayton uncomfortable, according to the lawsuit.
On January 26, they played several songs that Drayton deemed “both racially offensive and sexually inappropriate” for the workplace, including “N***** in Paris” by Kanye West and Jay-Z, “Ruff Ryders Anthem” by DMX. and “Rich A**F**k” and “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne.
Each time Habba and others uttered the n-word, Drayton felt “humiliated and violated,” the lawsuit says.
On at least one occasion, Abba and others suggested to Drayton that a song was “played expressly for her”. She felt “shocked, embarrassed and humiliated,” the lawsuit states.
It was around the time of the April incident that Drayton began to suffer from panic attacks, particularly as she prepared to go to work, according to the lawsuit.
Habba noticed a change in Drayton’s behavior and called her into her office in May, where she told him she seemed “unhappy and disengaged at work,” the lawsuit says.
Drayton did not feel able to tell Habba the reason for her withdrawal at this meeting, but emailed Habba and Madaio on June 8 where she complained that she felt the work environment had “become hostile and unwelcoming to her as an African American”. women.”
Drayton then received a call from Habba and Madaio, during which Habba allegedly “criticized and attacked” Drayton for being “combative, hypersensitive and ungrateful”.
Habba also reportedly said she couldn’t be racist because “I’m a fucking minority myself” and “I’m not white. I was bullied because I’m Arab.” Habba also told Drayton that his comments about James were “not intended for you,” according to the lawsuit.
After that call, Drayton felt she had no choice but to resign as Habba and Madaio “totally deny responsibility” and made no indication that they would take corrective action.
Newsweek had contacted Habba and an attorney representing Drayton for further comment. James’ office has also been contacted for comment.