A self proclaimed “hairstylist to the stars” is suing Mel B for wrongful termination, causing emotional distress and running up $200,000 in debt.
Poghos Karen “Gary” Madatyan filed a lawsuit against the Spice Girls member née Melanie Janine Brown and Dr. Charles Sophy, in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday alleging, among other things, wrongful termination, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and failure to pay overtime.
According to the complaint, Madatyan was initially hired to be Mel B’s hairstylist and personal stylist. He said the job soon expanded where served as a “jack-of-all-trades” servicing Mel B in all aspects of her life as a part time personal assistant, butler, hair stylist, manager and life coach. He said he was required to move into the same apartment building as Mel B and work for her on-call 24-hours a day.
During this time, Madatyan claims Mel B misclassified his employment status as an independent contractor. He says while she paid him $10,000 a month, she made him pay $7,000 for his apartment. He also says that during the time he worked for her that Mel B used his credit card and bank account and ran up more than $200,000 in bills buying furniture and televisions, as well as paying for transportation and throwing parties. He says Mel B promised to pay him back, but never did.
Regarding Sophy, Mel B’s personal doctor, Madatyan alleges that the doctor threatened him and also used his name to prescribed amphetamine salts with out his authorization. He also says Sophy tried to pressure him to lie to the Department of Child and Family services about Mel B.’s former husband’s treatment of their children, but he refused.
Madatyan says he confronted both Mel B and Sophy about the unlawful prescriptions and was ultimately fired after repeatedly requesting that Mel B reimburse him the hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses owned. He refers to the Spice Girl’s behavior as “deplorable” and says he is now saddled with debt because of it. He is demanding Mel B pay him back and is also asking the court to award him punitive damages, attorney fees and other costs.
“His basic human rights and dignity as an employee and person were chewed up, spit out, and trampled on,” says Madatyan’s attorney, Ben Meiselas. “Gary is a warm, loving person and didn’t deserve this. Frankly, no one does. We look forward to justice before a jury.”
Mel B’s rep declined to comment. Dr. Sophy has not responded yet to Billboard‘s request for comment.