Toni & Guy boss’s ‘indecent proposal’ to pretty trainee hairdresser who he ‘offered £10,000 in return for sex’
- Maryam Mashayekhi, 34, claims her boss Christopher Story, 39, made the offer while she was shadowing him at work
- Mr Story also pushed her head towards his groin as they sat in a car, employment tribunal hears
- Mrs Mashayekhi claims she was sexually harassed, bullied and humiliated by Mr Story for six months in 2010
- Mr Story told her ‘You’re just like these Asians that come over here to claim benefits’, the tribunal is told
- The pair worked together at an upmarket salon in Sheffield city centre
- Mrs Mashayekhi is claiming sex and race discrimination
A trainee hairdresser was presented with a £10,000 ‘indecent proposal’ from her married boss to sleep with him, a tribunal was told.
Maryam Mashayekhi said she felt ‘totally humiliated’ by the lewd behaviour of her manager Christopher Story.
He allegedly questioned her about her sex life in front of colleagues and told a client she was a prostitute.
‘Indecent proposal’: Maryam Mashayekhi claimed she was offered £10,000 by her boss, Christopher Story , to have sex with him. Mr Story denies the allegation
Mrs Mashayekhi, 34, described how she and father-of-two Mr Story were waiting to style a bride’s hair on her wedding day when he asked: ‘How much money do you want to have sex?’
She replied she wouldn’t do that for anyone because she was married.
She said he then asked: ‘Are you having sex for £1,000, what about £2,000 or £10,000?’ She responded: ‘No, not even for £20,000. I love my husband.’
The claim echoes the 1993 film Indecent Proposal in which a billionaire (Robert Redford) offers a down-on-their-luck couple $1million if he can sleep with the wife (Demi Moore).
‘Discrimination’: Hairdresser Maryam Mashayekhi with her husband Manouchehr Royan. The couple have been married for eight years
Mr Story, 39, allegedly tried to pass off his comments as a joke, but the trainee said she was sexually harassed, bullied and humiliated over a six-month period by the franchise owner at the Toni & Guy salon in Sheffield city centre.
Mrs Mashayekhi claimed there was another incident involving Mr Story on the same day as the indecent proposal.
She said they were sitting in a car waiting for a friend when a woman looked out of a window at them. ‘Mr Story got hold of some money, gave me the money as if he was paying me, got hold of the back of my head and pushed it down towards his groin,’ she said.
‘I was horrified by this and immediately pulled away. He said he was having a joke and giving the lady something to look at. I was absolutely livid.’
The tribunal heard she was asked by a businessman in the salon one evening what she did before working there and Mr Story interjected with the comment: ‘She is a prostitute.’
Echoes movie: The claim echoes 1993 film Indecent Proposal in which a billionaire (Robert Redford) offers a couple money if he can sleep with the wife (Demi Moore)
The former artist, who has been married for eight years, worked on average 67 hours a week for low pay after starting in the salon in May 2010, the Sheffield hearing was told.
Weeks into the job Mr Story asked about her sexual preferences in front of colleagues, it was alleged. ‘I was shocked,’ said Mrs Mashayekhi, who was born in Iran and came to Britain in 2005. ‘I don’t know the culture but in my culture you are not talking to people like that.’
She said he called her ‘stupid’ on a daily basis and she lost her self-confidence as a result.
Mrs Mashayekhi said he asked if she was claiming benefits and she replied that she had to make ends meet. He allegedly replied: ‘You’re just like these Asians that come over here to claim benefits. You’re just a scrounger like the rest of them.’
She was signed off work with severe depression in November 2010 and never returned. She is claiming sex and race discrimination against Mr Story and George Plus One Ltd, a franchise of which his accountant wife Samantha is the sole director.
Upmarket: Mrs Mashayekhi worked for Mr Story at this Toni & Guy salon in Sheffield city centre
Mr Story said her description of the alleged ‘indecent proposal’ was ‘wildly inaccurate and extremely offensive’. He said: ‘I did not offer to pay her in return for sex nor did I push her head towards my groin.’
However, the tribunal was told sexual banter at the salon was commonplace. Mr Story said in a statement: ‘Many of the staff are young and the topic of conversation can sometimes relate to sex.’
Hannah Steer, reception manager at the salon, said she had never known Mr Story speak to anyone in the manner described by Mrs Mashayekhi.
She said that days before she left Mrs Mashayekhi had broken down in tears and told her and Mr Story that her husband had a gambling problem and she suffered mental abuse from him.
The tribunal continues.