Former Villa Blanca Employee Awarded $100,000 In Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Posted on Jun 18 2014 - 10:14am by Editor

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A California jury has awarded Karina Bustillos, a former employee of Lisa Vanderpump, $100,000 in punitive damages in her  sexual harassment lawsuit against Lisa Vanderpump’s Villa Blanca restaurant.

As we previously reported, Ms. Bustillos claimed, manager Michael Govia sexually harassed her on the job. Bustillos alleged, Michael Govia tried to kiss her, called her a “cunt” and violently grabbed her wrists.

[READ] Lisa Vanderpump Trying To Pay Off Sexual Assault Accuser

 

Who is Karina Bustillos?

Karina-Bustillos-Lisa-Vanderpump-waitress-lawsuit-accuser-photo

Karina Bustillos is an aspiring actress/model/waitress. The 33-year-old studied Film in college and appeared in many commercials. She hаѕ appeared in television commercials fоr Shasta, Vetrimark, Dish.com, Skin.com аnd others. Shе hosted а rеd carpet during thе 2010 Streamy Awards fоr Slebisodes.

Watch a reel of Karina Bustillos commercials:

 

Bustillos claimed Villa Blanca failed to take action when she informed her superiors about the incidents. Specifically, Lisa Vanderpump refused to take action after she complained to the RHOBH star so she was forced to resign. 

Whеn Lisa wаѕ questioned аbоut thе incident bеtwееn Govia аnd Bustillos, аnd whу ѕhе didn’t dо аnуthing аbоut it, Lisa ѕаid ѕhе looked оvеr videos frоm thе CCTV cameras аt thе restaurant, but ѕhе found nоthing tо backup Bustillos’ claims.

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Ironically, none of the Villa Blanca employees have ever witnessed аnу incident involving Ms. Bustillos bеing sexually harassed by Govia. Not one.

Last week LA jurors found Villa Blanca was liable for the damages to be paid to Bustillos, but exonerated Michael Govia of the sexual harassment and hostile work environment allegations, only awarding her $6,250. The logical conclusion being, the jury did not believe her sexual harassment allegations. The $100k in punitive damages against Villa Blanca seems odd but may have derived from Villa Blanca’s mishandling of Bustillos complaint.

Lisa Vanderpump’s attorney released the following statement:

 “We are in absolute shock at the amount of punitive damages that were awarded. Especially in light of nominal compensatory damages awarded and the lack of sufficient evidence. We plan to immediately file an appeal and are confident that we will prevail.”

Lisa’s side is not happy with the judgement and plan to file an appeal, so this this ain’t over until the fat lady sings. Stay tuned.

 

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About the Author

Writing Staff at All About The Tea

  • WestCoastFeed
  • WestCoastFeed

    Was it Kim Richards who called Ken Todd a mean, grumpy old man? It looks like she was right. If Ken had handled this case differently and paid her the $300 lost pay she asked for and scheduled her with a different manager this whole lawsuit would never have happened. Instead he did not take her complaint seriously and had the video tape that showed the incident destroyed. That’s why the jury said that VB acted “with malice.”

    • Chloe

      It was Kim that called Ken, mean and grumpy. I’m a huge Lisa fan. I think this whole thing is being blown out of proportion.

      • WestCoastFeed

        I think Ken and Lisa would be wise to pay the damages and let this story quietly fade away. It does look to me like Ken mishandled the girl’s initial complaint. And then tried to sweep the whole thing under the rug.

        • Chloe

          After re-reading this blog, I agree with you.

  • I’m so confuddled by this case and every time I ask one question, another question arises from my previous. Why did Ken and Lisa handle the complaint so nonchalantly? Why didn’t any employees witness the sexual harassment? Was Karina looking for exposure that’s why she brought this lawsuit?

    • WestCoastFeed

      I wish the entire trial transcript were available and we had an attorney/poster to help us review it. But what seems to have been the last straw to Karina was when the guy grabbed her by the wrists and twisted them so violently that she did call the police and reported it. That incident was caught by the video cameras. The general manager made a copy of the video and showed it to Ken. That’s when Ken should have given Karina’s complaint credence. But Ken did not.

      • Thanks for the info, West. Sounds very messy. Why would Ken destroy the tape?

        • WestCoastFeed

          To be accurate, Ken did not destroy it himself. The manager had made a copy of the surveillance tape and showed the copy to Ken to let him see that the incident had occurred. Ken later asked the manager if he had deleted the copy and the manager replied that he had which he said pleased Ken. It may be that the original surveillance video is one of those kind that gets reused after a time and no one made an effort to preserve it. I just don’t know whether that info was ever discussed.

  • italiano bambino

    Ha… well look at this

    • WestCoastFeed

      Hi, bambino. You and I have been in the minority on this board regarding Ken and Lisa. Are their true colors finally being exposed?

      • italiano bambino

        On the ending of season 2 my change regarding lisa I realized she was full of it. She was not the true lisa. The REAL lisa was on season 4. To answer your question I am not surprised by lisa and grumpy ken actions

        • WestCoastFeed

          I am tickled that it was Kim who really saw what Ken was like and labelled him the “grumpy old man.” Kim is the most perceptive cast member.

          • I don’t think is an entirely bad person. He may have made a mistake but I wouldn’t brand him a bad/mean/grumpy guy.

          • WestCoastFeed

            I haven’t watched enough of the BH show to be sure, but I did not like the way he treated his maid when she lamented that Lisa did not consider letting her have some of the old dresses Lisa was giving to charity. I thought that was mean and dismissive.

      • MorningYawn

        This season, I absolutely agreed with you. Lisa is as dirty as the rest of them. In fact, I believe that editing did her a FAVOR this year and she knows it.

    • Hey Bam! Do you think Lisa and Ken are guilty too?

      • italiano bambino

        If they allow it to happen and dont do S*** about it YES

        • That I agree with and it’s sounding like that’s exactly what they did.

  • MorningYawn

    Here is the thing about sexual harassment in the workplace… The abuser, if he is a chronic abuser, knows how to get away with it… Back in my 20’s, I worked for a firm in a large northeast city that had lots of awesome clients, exciting projects, etc. I was the junior person on a very cool project and definitely “on the way up”. The CEO called me into his office to give a de-brief on the project… while the SVP, VP and account exec and others above me were in the office that day. It struck me as odd. I was on a couch in his office and the door was open. He sat directly across from me and grabbed his junk FIVE, count them… FIVE times… and since I wasn’t reacting, the 5th time, he stood up, put his foot on the arm rest so that his business was eye level (albeit a few feet away) and grabbed himself again. I high tailed it out of there as quick as I could. But see, had I reported it, he had “evidence” on his side… no one saw it, his door was open, no one heard it… on and on and on. It was VERY upsetting. Serial sexual harassers, which he had a reputation for being one of, know the tricks, they know what to do and what not to do… they know how to get away with it. Being a sarcastic bitch, my first reaction was to ask him if he needed to use the rest room to adjust himself. I was not surprised by the actions. However, after the fifth time I was mortified and humiliated. And he knew it… he had the power.

    All that said, I don’t dis-believe this chick nor do I believe her. But had I reported this to my HR or superiors and they handled it like she did, I would sue as well.

    • WestCoastFeed

      I wonder if Ken and Lisa are somehow indebted to this manager of if it was just another instance of bad character judgment on their parts, ala Cedric and Brandi.

      I think they ought to pay the damages and issue one of those PR statements about letting go of the past and moving on with their ventures such as their splendid new pub. PUMP.

      • MorningYawn

        Interesting idea that they are indebted to him. I think they just didn’t care… No witnesses, she doesn’t have a leg to stand on. They totally blew it off and now they lost. Pissed at themselves no doubt! Hope ur well WCF

  • MorningYawn

    Tmz just reported that joe guidice’s dad just dropped dead in joes backyard. Wow. I kinda feel for him. He is literally about to lose everything. Maybe this will show him that life is about family not things.