Marilyn Monroe Fondling Meetings Sparks Suit

June 21, 2002 ( - A female Deutsche Bank executive, citing a 1999 business meeting where scantily clad Marilyn Monroe look alikes "publicly fondled" male colleagues, sued the bank in federal court for sexual discrimination.

Virginia Gambale, a 20-year Wall Street veteran who now works in the bank’s DB Capital Partners, claimed in the suit that the meeting was an example of Deutsche’s atmosphere that is “inhospitable” to women, according to a Dow Jones report.

Revealing Clothes

In addition to the fondling of Gambale’s male colleagues, she alleged in her suit that at the business meeting held in Cannes, France, she and the four other female attendees were forced to walk past a line of “sex goddesses” garbed in revealing clothes that were “highly inappropriate” for a business environment.

Gambale says in the suit that she also stopped going to DB Capital’s quarterly business dinners because, as the only woman there, she was “virtually ignored by all of her male peers.”

Outside of the Cannes meeting, Gambale charged that she was passed up for promotion because she was a woman and told to look for another job. The suit asks for a court order placing her in a top job as well as unspecified damages.

A Deutsche Bank spokesperson wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Loutish Behavior

The Gambale suit is the latest in a string of litigation that alleges sex discrimination and often-loutish behavior on Wall Street.

In a notable case last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit alleging Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co . (MWD) discriminated against Allison Schieffelin, a former star saleswoman, and as many as 100 women in the firm’s institutional-stock department (see EEOC Charges Morgan Stanley With Gender Discrimination ).

Morgan has denied the allegations, and the suit is still pending.