Weeks after Chasity Jones won an $11 million lawsuit against her former CEO, the single mom is breaking her silence on what caused her to finally report the sexual harassment allegations once and for all.
Jones, a 42-year-old self-described model and advocate who is also a celebrity realtor, was awarded the judgment in April after Greek Coca-Cola bottling heir Alki David was accused of engaging in various lewd acts in the workplace. The alleged harassment occurred while Jones, who retained the attorney Lisa Bloom in the litigation, worked as an executive for David’s two production companies, Hologram USA and FilmOn.TV.
Jones, who told Atlanta Black Star Friday she was one of only two Black executives and the sole Black female executive working with David, alleged she was fired from her job after nearly two years in November 2016. She said in her 2017 filing that the termination came after she refused to have sex with the self-proclaimed billionaire. Among the allegations she said she faced, they included groping and porn being viewed in the conference room. Jones also accused David of running his hand up her leg in an apparent effort to comfort his employee amid her mother’s death. In one instance, Jones thought a police officer was in the corporate Beverly Hills office, but it turned out it was a stripper David hired to celebrate an executive’s birthday.
But what finally led Jones to decide to take action arose in her second year of employment. She was dealing with mounting issues concerning her mother, who was battling stage 4 lung cancer, and the financial strain of not receiving her commission.
“It was getting to a breaking point where it was like, you know what? I’m tired. I just don’t care anymore,” she said. “I have to do something. It was starting to bother me mentally and I just had to come forward.”
Jones admitted doing so was hard initially and did not come forward for so long while she was still working for David because she had to take care of her teenage daughter. She also dealt with several hurdles in obtaining an attorney who believed her and didn’t request more evidence. She finally got in touch with Bloom after a colleague recommended the high-profile attorney.
“Initially I felt the support,” she says. “Initially, I felt that she believed in me and wanted to work hard for me. … I started to feel like I had a backbone.”
Another impetus for Jones to end her silence was Jones’ 15-year-old daughter, Khloe Campbell.
“I always let her know being a black girl or a black woman, you always walk in the door with two strikes against you,” she said. “One that you’re a woman, you’re not equal to everyone and two you’re black … so you always have to work harder to prove you’re better. … She’s looking up to me and I am her hero. It was my duty to stand up and be strong for her.”
“She was proud of me,” Jones added.
On April 26, jurors decided David must pay Jones $8 million in punitive damages on top of the $3.09 million in compensatory damages Jones was previously entitled to. The total $11 million payout is “one of the biggest sexual harassment verdicts in history,” Bloom said after the verdict to the Daily Mail.
Following the trial, which saw David have many outbursts, he was asked for comment. The Greek mogul told The Hollywood Reporter it was “ridiculous” and that he’s “not paying it.” He also said he plans to appeal the decision.
However, Jones told Atlanta Black Star no such appeal has been filed as yet. And she doesn’t believe he will file an appeal, which he has 60 days to do, because he would have to post a bond of what she says is around $18 million in cash.
Jones said she has not yet received payment but anticipates the money will roll in once the judge signs off on it.
Going forward, Jones is now focusing on becoming a motivational speaker to share her experience with other women and “hopefully change someone’s life.” She’s also working on a book to detail her struggle and is currently seeking a publisher. In addition, Jones is working on establishing a nonprofit in honor of her late mother. It will encourage people to get annual cancer screenings.
As for what she wants other Black women to take away from her case, Jones said they should simply know they’re not alone.
“I was a victim and I overcame it with a victory,” she said. “They can stand up for themselves. They are not alone. There are ways to reach out and get help. We have a voice … we can become equal, but we have to fight for that.”