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Harassment suit filed vs. Peters

Ex-VP of finance suing producer for $50 mil in damages

A former executive at Jon Peters’ production company has sued the producer, alleging that he attempted to prevent her from getting married to her current husband, then fired her three days after her honeymoon.

The suit by Colleen Bennett, who was Peters’ VP for finance from September 1996 until August 1998, also alleges various acts of sexual harassment, including “trying to kiss Plaintiff, grabbing her body against her will, conducting meetings in his underwear and exposing his genitals to plaintiff.”

Peters also forced Bennett to perform physical tasks such as lifting boxes and moving furniture because he said he “got off on that,” said Bennett’s attorney, Steven J. Rottman.

According to the lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, Peters conducted a long campaign to dissuade Bennett from marrying Eric Appelbaum. He repeatedly told her that Appelbaum was after her money and that he would leave her for a younger woman, according to the suit.

The suit contends that Peters forced Bennett to work on the day before her wedding and made her work during her honeymoon in Hawaii by having her look at real estate he was interested in buying.

When she returned from the honeymoon, he refused to talk to her for three days, then fired her, telling her he had lost money in the stock market and couldn’t afford to employ her any longer, Rottman said.

The suit requests unspecified general, special, compensatory and punitive damages that Rottman said will amount to about $50 million.

Peters could not be reached for comment Thursday.