The Sexist

Celebrity Hairstylist Andre Chreky Accused of Attempting to Rape Employee

District  celebrity hairstylist Andre Chreky has been trusted to manage the high-profile hairstyles of women like Rita Wilson and Laura Bush in his K Street salon since 1997. When he's not touching famous hair, Chreky has been accused of repeatedly sexually harassing his employees.

This week Chreky was expected to go to trial in his second sexual harassment case brought against him by an employee. The first case, brought by colorist Ronnie Barrett, was decided last week, resulting in a 2.3 million dollar judgment to Barrett. The new case, brought by another former stylist, accuses Chreky of persistent sexual harassment that allegedly escalated from inappropriate sexual comments into repeated, attempted rapes.

The stylist's complaint alleges a variety of horrific sexual acts inflicted upon her by her boss. A sampling of allegations from the complaint she filed with the court:

  • "On a daily basis, Mr. Chreky will comment to one of more female employees that she looks 'sexy' or 'especially sexy today.' He also repeatedly references the sex lives of female employees, questions whether their husbands can please them in bed and offers to 'help out.'"
  • "Starting in the fall of 2000, Mr. Chreky made daily comments to Plaintiff about the way she looked and her attire. Such statements included that she looked "sexy," had "sexy legs," and that he liked the way she looked in that shirt or with that lipstick."
  • "Starting in the fall of 2003, Mr. Chreky repeatedly required Plaintiff to come to his office at the end of the day. During such visits, Mr. Chreky would discuss sexual topics and repeatedly proposition Plaintiff to have sex with him. He also told her that other stylists were having an affair with him."
  • "During such visits to his office, Mr. Chreky would promise better work, such as assigning the President's family to her or offering to let her travel with the President's family, in an attempt to induce Plaintiff to have sex with him."
  • "At a fundraiser in December of 2004, Mr. Chreky asked Plaintiff if she wanted to have a threesome and that he 'would get any kind of girl [she] wanted. blond or brunette.' Later he asked another employee if Plaintiff was the "hottest" stylist and if the three of them wanted to get a room for him for a threesome."
  • "Throughout her employment, Mr. Chreky would often direct Plaintiff to help him with a client's hair. Mr. Chreky would then stand close to Plaintiff, rub hips against her or lean very close to her face as she worked."
  • "On or about November of 2003,  Plaintiff was eating lunch in the kitchen area. In front of other employees, Mr. Chreky stated that Plaintiff had sexy legs. When the other employees had left, Mr. Chreky returned, leaned over Plaintiff and rubbed her leg and upper thigh. Plaintiff told Mr. Chreky to stop and he responded, 'you have such smooth legs. Just let me touch them.' Plaintiff slapped his hand and fled the room."
  • "On or about early summer of 2004, Plaintiff was waiting outside of the Salon for a ride that was over an hour late. Mr Chreky offered her a ride, which she declined. After Mr. Chreky repeatedly insisted on driving her home, she reluctantly agreed. On the drive home, Mr. Chreky pulled the car over and attacked her. He pulled her toward him, tried to kiss her, pinned her to the back of the seat, and rolled on top of her. Mr. Chreky lifted her skirt, grabbed her underwear and pulled it to the side, exposing her vagina, and then grabbed her genitals. Plaintiff pleaded and tried to get him to stop. My. Chreky unzipped his pants and tried to penetrate her with his penis. When Plaintiff threatened to call the cops, Mr. Chreky stopped and drove her home while threatening her to not tell anyone about the ride home."
  • "Later in 2004, Plaintiff was again assaulted while alone in the lunchroom. Mr. Chreky shoved her against the sink, pushed his groin against hers and attempted to get his hand under her bra. When Plaintiff grabbed his arm and told him to stop, he pleaded for her to 'let me touch it one time, just one time.' Plaintiff threatened to scream if he did not stop."
  • "In 2004 through 2006, Mr. Chreky would continually attempt to trap Plaintiff alone while at work. If he ever found her alone, he would grab her around the shoulders or waist and press his groin against her body. He would often try to grab her buttocks or genital area, and would grab and lift her skirt. These attacks occurred, at times, as much as twice per day."
  • "In March of 2005, Mr. Chreky attacked Plaintiff in the kitchen by slamming hr into the sink. He pressed his body against hers, pried her legs apart with his leg and placed his hand underneath her skirt. Although Plaintiff repeatedly tried to escape, Mr. Cherky physically restrained her. He repeatedly asked her to just let him touch her. Mr. Chreky was able to grab the side of her underwear and told her, while holding a lighter up to her face, that if he kept fighting that he was going to burn her underwear off. Mr. Chreky then violently ripped her underwear off (bruising her genital area) and holding it up to his face, while saying, 'see, now I got it and now I am going to keep it as a souvenir.' That day, he repeatedly taunted her at her work station following this attack."
  • "Repeatedly during 2005 and up to her termination, Mr. Chreky would grab her when he found her alone and push her head toward his genitals demanding that she 'give him a blow job.'"
  • "In late summer of 2005, Mr. Chreky ordered Plaintiff to do inventory on the fifth floor. Plaintiff thought she was safe on the fifth floor because Mr. Chreky was with a client, but Mr. Chreky followed and attacked her by forcing her against a wall at the top of the stairwell. Plaintiff tried to escape down the stairs, but to no avail. When Plaintiff screamed, he covered her mouth with his hand. Mr. Chreky unzipped his pants, pulled Plaintiff''s skirt up above her waist, pulled her underwear to one side and attempted to penetrate her. At this point, Plaintiff was sobbing loudly and having trouble breathing. When he released her mouth, she began screaming and again, he covered her mouth. Plaintiff was finally able to get away when another employee walked to the bottom of the stairwell."
  • "In the fall of 2005, Mr. Chreky again required plaintiff to come to his office. She went, but stood just inside the open door. Mr. Chreky got up and slammed the door, pushed her over and got on top of her. Plaintiff began to cry and yelled for him to let her go. He grabbed her skirt, tore it and tried to get his hand to her genital area. Mr. Chreky unzipped his pants, tried to get her skirt about her waist and attempted to penetrate her At this time, another employee knowcked on the door. In response, Mr. Chreky jumped up and zipped his pants. Plaintiff opened the door and ran past her shocked colleague."

In a response to her complaint, Chreky and the salon denied all the stylist's allegations. They did include one clarification, in response to the allegation that Chreky would "rub hips against her or lean very close to her face as she worked": "Defendants deny the allegations . . . save that defendants aver that all employees of the Salon work in relatively close quarters and that, when employees collaborated on a single client, it was impossible for those employees to do other than 'stand close' to each other. Defendants deny that any such positioning was sexual in nature, or constituted discrimination or harassment during the course of employment based on gender or sex."

If you're wondering how allegations of attempted employee rape might affect a salon's business: Last week, Chreky's camp announced that the salon has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

  • http://dailycaller.com Mike Riggs

    Chreky deserves jail time, and the plaintiff needs some self-esteem counseling. She's arguably needed self-esteem counseling since the fall of 2000 when she declined to quit in the face of Chreky's sexism, and at least since 2003, when she declined to press charges for sexual harassment.

    Jesus.

  • J

    Its insane that she continued to work there year after year and let the harassment and attempted rapes continue. Awful situation.

  • http://bikegroggery.blogspot.com groggette

    To J and Mike Riggs:
    "Approximately twenty different female employees on at least sixty different occasions came to me to complain about Andre's inappropriate sexual advances and sexual comments to them, and requested my assistance in some way. . . . I believe that Andre is a sexual predator with his employees, particularly those who are originally from Third World countries, because of the power he can exert over them based on their immigration status and lack of knowledge of their rights." (bold mine)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/02/AR2007070201871.html

    She didn't "let" anything happen to her, she fought back and screamed while these things happened and is fighting him on court now. And Mike, it's entirely possible that she did press charges after the first attempted rape but the police did nothing about it.

  • http://bikegroggery.blogspot.com groggette

    Something else relevant from the same article that shows partly why these 2 women stayed:
    Barrett and Thong both say they stayed at the salon because of financial necessity. A no-compete clause in their contracts barred them from working within a five-mile radius for six months after their departure -- which would have left them with almost no clients and no income, they say.

  • noodlez

    HMMMMM!

    WHAT A CONUNDRUM!

    EITHER STAY AND BE SUBJECT TO CONSTANT HARASSMENT OR LEAVE AND BE CONSTANTLY BROKE.

    HMMMM! WHY NOT TAKE SOME OF THE MONEY YOU EARNED AND HIRE A LAWYER TO BRING A SUIT AGAINST MR HANDS-ON WHILE YOU ARE WORKING THERE.

    FIVE YEARS IS A LONG TIME TO PUT UP WITH THAT SHIT!

  • J

    I didnt mean "let him" - but shit she should have snipped his package off at least. To continue on even after one time of attempted rape is just plain nuts.

  • Former Staffer

    no compete clauses have been found to be illegal in CA. i'd suspect a challenge in DC courts would yield a similar result.

  • Em

    It's easy to say she should have gotten out of the situation, sure. But to be honest, it's a lot more complicated than that when the balance of power is so off. It sounds like he hires women who are new to the country and have no connections on purpose, since they're less likely to know how to get help or know their rights, and more likely to be dependent on the income to survive and stay in the US. That's pretty exploitative, and would be a difficult situation for anyone to be in.

  • Occam

    Way to go blaming the employee, y'all. Disgusting.

  • J

    Occam - no ones blaming the employee for the harassment, just the choice to not do something about it. Would you stay for 5 years? Its a lack of common sense.

  • Melissa

    She didn't make a "choice not to do anything about it." She's suing. That's definitely "doing something."

    As for not quitting, it's already been explained that she probably didn't have a choice. Common sense probably had nothing to do with it. And as for the assertion that staying was "nuts," we really don't have any particular reason to believe she's mentally ill, and the use of "nuts" as a way to characterize an action with which you disagree...well, meloukhia says it a lot better than I could.

    http://meloukhia.net/2010/03/crazy.html

  • k

    Holy crap, that guy sounds like a menace.

    And to all y'all who've never been intimidated by a bad boss who assures you that if you leave he'll tell everyone you are a quitter and a bad employee and you'll never work in your chosen field again - how lucky you are. Seeing somebody get away with treating all his employees like shit will skew your sense of how professional relationships should look, and of your own autonomy, like none other.

  • Charlie

    The part that just does it for me here is the fact that I've stared at his salon on K street waiting for the Circulator everyday for the past few months commuting to and from class/work. Did I sense the sexual harassment? I like to think so.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    You mean that this hair burner is straight! What is the world coming to!

  • L

    I used to go to Chreky for haircuts until I got a major creep vibe from him. He would ask me if I wanted to work there, and when I said I didn't know anything about working in a salon, he said all I would have to do is stand there, answer the phones, and look gorgeous. I said no thanks especially since I lived in Reston and it would be a long commute, and he said we could commute together since he lived in Great Falls. EWWWW! The weirdest thing about all of this is that his wife works at the salon too -- I wonder what she thinks of all this?

  • Ophelia

    Dear God...that's unbelievable. The poor woman. That man definitely deserves jail time, or at the *very least* a ridiculously heavy fine. Can't believe she managed to endure that for so long.

  • DCM

    It sounds like this guy is a real predator. It's nice to know this man is being exposed and he'll face justice. It's a shame that a civil suit won't result in prison time if the allegations are true. I've heard the salon is structured so people can't really leave with customers once they're in--everyone is compartmentalized and the non-compete clauses people speak about add to that.

    A friend said one day last week there was only one manicurist and one stylist working in that huge space. I'm sure the other K Street Salons are picking up the pieces. Hope there's something left over for the victims.

  • meadowlands

    I still don't understand why either of these women stayed.And why didn't she press charges if it was true? Why did she keep putting herself in situations (going in a car and to his office)? Why didn't she cause a scene by running into the work area screaming? I don't buy the no $$ thing. She has a high priced lawyer. Where did she get the finances for that? She should have quit. As for the police possibly ignoring the charges - her high priced attorney could have taken care of that.

    As for his business falling off - I was there last week for my hair and I can tell you it was absolutely crazy with business.

  • Beth

    A sexual predator. The abuse these women took to keep their jobs! A pure power trip for him - how much can I get away with? Now he knows. Bsnkrupt? LOL (just a ploy to stop the suit), but a few million has got to sting a little. The most overpriced salon in the history of D.C., run by a creep.

  • malu

    how long would it take for me to quit...immediately. i'm sorry i don't buy it. andre has done my hair several times and yes he tells me that i look "sexy" after getting my hair done...i don't find that offensive. is no one here reading this? she flippin stayed for 5 years...i don't care whether you're from a 3rd world country or not...you know what doesn't feel right. i would not subject myself to that for 5 years. has anyone thought that she might be trying to cash in on a wealthy employer?

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