Sexual harassment is a serious issue, and sexual harassment claims can result in severe penalties. For that reason, false sexual harassment claims can have a devastating effect. There is an interesting history of false claims, and every false claim damaged the accused. Find out all about the history of false harassment claims.
Past False Sexual Harassment Cases
Although people do make false harassment claims, the occurrence is far from common. This is especially true of low-profile cases. Often, victims have nothing to gain from speaking out about their victimization. However, the same is not true of high-profile cases that involve celebrities. If someone accuses a celebrity of sexual harassment, she has a lot to gain. In the past, sexual harassment accusations resulted in some large payouts.
For that reason, it should be no surprise that some individuals use harassment cases as a form of extortion. With the hopes of getting a big payout, someone might make a false claim of harassment against a celebrity. In some cases, the celebrity might be eager to settle things out of court. This saves him the embarrassment of a very public situation.
Examples of False Claims
You don’t hear about many false sexual harassment claims in Hollywood. However, there is a good reason for this. If a celebrity receives a threat, he is likely to pay off the individual who threatens him. Once he makes the payment, no one hears about the claims. The risk of going to court is too great for a celebrity’s fragile reputation to handle.
There are a few reports of attempts at extortion. In light of the Weinstein harassment scandal, one woman attempted to extort Robert Herjavec. As the star of the show “Shark Tank,” Herjavec relies on his reputation to get ratings. However, he refused to pay his ex-girlfriend millions of dollars in extortion. Instead of paying her, he took her to court.
Herjavec’s ex Danielle Vasinova first threatened to claim that Herjavec gave her herpes. Then, she threatened to claim that the celebrity sexually assaulted her. In exchange for her silence, Vasinova wanted $20 million. When Herjavec declined, she lowered her offer to $5 million.
The Claims Resurface
After Herjavec declined the second offer, he didn’t hear from his ex-girlfriend for some time. But the the Weinstein scandal changed things. Vasinova saw it as an opportunity to extort her former lover. However, this time, Herjavec received a legal document. He received a letter from Vasinova’s lawyer. In the letter, the lawyer offered the celebrity a way to settle the situation out of court. According to Herjavec, it was another term for extortion.
Although Herjavec is suing Vasinova, he doesn’t plan to make much money from the case. The suit only asks for $1. More important than the money is the legal ramifications. In the suit, Herjavec also wants a court order that would keep Vasinova from trying to extort him again.
Will There be More?
With Hollywood sexual harassment being a hot topic, it is possible that the number of false harassment claims will rise. Although some of the claims are likely to be true, it is possible that some people want a payday. As more and more women speak up about their experiences, it could make false claims more common.
Many of the claims of celebrity sexual harassment are met with denial. However, that is something to be expected. With so much to lose, it is unlikely that a celebrity would admit to the harassment. There is no easy way to determine the validity of the case.
In all likelihood, the cases will have to go to court. When they do, a judge and jury will decide if the claims are false or not. Until the court dates come, everything is he-said-she-said.
Why are False Sexual Harassment Claims so Dangerous?
Because the courts take sexual harassment so seriously, the penalty for committing the crime can ruin your life. The stakes involved with false sexual harassment claims are very high. Even if you don’t get convicted, you could find that the publicity of the case ruins your career and reputation. Your employer could fire you, or you could become demoted.
In addition to the work-related consequences, you also have to consider the cost. If you want a chance at fighting the allegations, then you need an experienced lawyer. That means that you need the money to pay a lawyer. Depending on the length of your court case, the bills could add up. There’s also the cost of missed work and travel expenses.
Finally, you need to consider the stress of false allegations. The stress of a court case puts a strain on your mental health. When you also have to deal with people judging you for a crime you didn’t commit, the strain becomes even greater. It is an embarrassing process that can weaken the strongest of people.