Clothing Retailer Exec Accused of Sexual Harassment

November 9, 2005 ( - Bahram Hakakian, head of clothing retailer Barami, was the subject of a lawsuit filed by a model who charged he groped her and offered her drugs during an interview for work as a model.

According to an Associated Press report, Hakakian had denied the allegations lodged by Kelly Alexander, 22, in a proceeding earlier this year before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Alexander’s lawyer, Jack Tuckner, said the EEOC proceeding and negotiations wrapped up in June 2005 without a resolution.

The lawsuit charged that the incident took place in Hakakian’s Manhattan office, where he interviewed Alexander for the modeling position – an interview she said she was invited to by a salesperson who had seen her in a Barami store two months earlier.

During the interview, court papers say, Hakakian harassed and abused Alexander by refusing to leave the room where she was dressing, offering her wine and illegal drugs, showing her sexually explicit and offensive illustrations on his computer, and groping and fondling her buttocks and breasts.

Because Alexander rejected Hakakian’s unwelcome actions, she was not hired, her court papers say.

Alexander is now a health club receptionist and a student at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Tuckner said.