Zulu King files paperwork to have lawsuit thrown out
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The former Zulu president and current king wants a judge to throw out a civil suit alleging sexual harassment.
This is the lawsuit filed against the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club and against its former President and current king. In it, the former employee alleges Naaman Stewart sexually harassed her June 27, 2015.
The former Zulu employee claims Stewart followed her into the restroom and refused to leave until the woman showed him her breasts before demanding sex. The original suit also alleges Stewart groped the then employee and when she reported it, she says she was fired.
Yet, Stewart's attorney filed paperwork with the court July 11 to get the entire suit thrown out. It also requests the plaintiff, the former employee, pay all court costs.
He claims all of the damages the plaintiff seeks-- invasion of privacy, employment discrimination, harassment, assault, mental anguish and more-- are moot because the alleged incident happened more than a year ago.
"In civil law, for a tortuous act, a tort like this, there's a one-year prescriptive period or statute of limitations. What the defense is saying is that this lady is alleging this occurred in June of 2015 which means she had to file her action by June of 2016," explained FOX 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti.
While the former employee claims Stewart's actions caused years of mental anguish and emotional distress, Raspanti says that won't be enough to hold up the suit in court.
"Just because she alleges her mental anguish lasted into 2018, that doesn't keep the prescripted period open," Raspanti said. "The man's act had to have occurred within a year, usually."
But that's not to say this former employee has no repercussion. The statute of limitations for criminal court is different.
"The statute of limitations for different statutes or crimes are either two years, four years, six years or sometimes even longer. And that could apply here depending on what they would say this gentleman would be charged," said Raspanti.
It's not clear as to whether New Orleans Police are investigating the incident for possible charges against Stewart, but FOX 8 checked with the DA's Office. So far, police have not sent over a case for consideration.
FOX 8 contacted both the alleged victim's attorney and Stewart's attorney for comment but did not hear back.
After the publication of this article, a meeting was held by the Zulu board where it was determined that Stewart would be suspended from all Zulu operations.
Zulu's current president Elroy James said the suspension was for the allegations against Stewart, and the investigation continues.