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NY real estate scion accused of sexual harassment, asking staffers to try on Victoria’s Secret lingerie and send pics from dressing rooms

2019-09-08

Alice Vysata claims Marc Menowitz told her to visit Victoria’s Secret stores and send photos from inside the dressing rooms while modeling revealing lingerie. (Courtesy, Alice Vysata)

The scion of a prominent New York real estate family solicited “dirty” photos from two female workers, hit on them repeatedly and retaliated when they rejected his advances, according to multiple lawsuits reviewed by the Daily News.

Those separate sexual harassment suits were filed against Marc Menowitz in Los Angeles by former employees Alice Vysata and Kinga Tabares.

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Both women claim Menowitz told them to visit Victoria’s Secret stores and send photos from inside the dressing rooms while modeling revealing lingerie. The randy real estate mogul allegedly promised to buy the women the items in exchange for the sexually explicit images.

Vysata says Menowitz sent her an email on June 3, 2016 that said, "You need to flirt with me more.”

She claims he bemoaned his unrequited “love” for her and sent other emails that read, “How about send me pics of you in a bikini?” and “We do have internet so you can send dirty pictures to me.”

Vysata told The News it was particularly “humiliating” when Menowitz sent a floral arrangement for her birthday in June 2017 with an open, unsealed card that read, “I was going to get you sex toys, but you have all the latest and the greatest.”

The arrangement was left on the wrong doorstep, so her Florida neighbor read the card before delivering the flowers to Vysata’s home, where her mother and brother subsequently read the card, her lawsuit now pending in federal court in Los Angeles states.

“It was a horrific experience for my family to see something like that,” Vysata told The News. “It was degrading, more than anything. All I ever wanted to do was work.”

In a response filing to her lawsuit, Menowitz admitted he sent the bouquet and claimed the card and other written messages "speak for themselves.”

He otherwise denies any wrongdoing during Vysata’s six-year tenure at his firm that started in 2011.

Menowitz claims both Vysata and Tabares are disgruntled ex-employees who lied to him about their qualifications and later tried to sabotage him.

Menowitz, 58, is the grandson of Harold Menowitz, a successful local developer who built residential and commercial buildings in Brooklyn and Queens starting in the 1950s.

Menowitz Management, which Marc now runs with his younger brother, owns and manages more than 2 million square feet across New York state, including an office building next to the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst.

In her court filings, Vysata claims Menowitz became irate when she rebuffed his advances. She says he rescinded her health insurance, cut off her work email and eventually sued her in California, Texas and Florida to “bully” her into silence with sham claims that she should return her commissions.

In his paperwork, Menowitz alleges Vysata, 41, “deceived” him to get cuts of his company’s transactions and eventually steal his “family trade secrets.”

He further says Vysata attempted to seduce him by telling him “whenever she got in the shower” and “unloading her family drama” on him.

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Vysata dismissed the counter allegations, saying she was always clear that she didn’t want an intimate relationship and had a boyfriend.

“He was calling at inappropriate hours, all the time. If I said, ‘I’m just jumping in the shower. I’ll get to the prospectus right after,’ that’s not flirtatious. It’s completely innocent,” she explained.

In her separate complaint now pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Tabares claims Menowitz invited her on an outing aboard his yacht shortly after she was hired as his executive assistant in October 2016.

She says he pressured her to join him on the bridge and told her to remove her flannel shirt so he could photograph her in her bikini.

Tabares claims that incident along with the Victoria’s Secret proposition left her feeling “repulsed." She only stayed with the company because Menowitz apologized for his bad behavior and agreed he wouldn’t force her to accompany him to private lunches and dinners, according to her lawsuit.

In his reply filings, Menowitz says Tabares was “standoffish and cold” during her employment and tried to “extort” him with claims of sexual harassment before she was fired in July 2018.

Tabares, 30, declined to speak with The News.

Vysata said Menowitz has been wielding his considerable wealth to “ruin” and “bankrupt” her with his lawsuits. She alleges that when Menowitz sued her in Texas, he didn’t properly serve her or her lawyer and got a default judgement she later convinced the court to set aside.

“In my entire career I’ve never seen or heard of a defendant in a sexual harassment lawsuit suing a plaintiff nine separate times, obtaining more than $750,000 in default judgments against her without informing her or her attorney of those lawsuits and trying to obtain a gag order,” her lawyer Daniel Kalish told The News.

“To me, these are actions intended to silence and punish her for suing for sexual harassment,” he said.

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