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Fired legal assistant derides Fox Rothschild's 'pearl-clutching' over explicit photo in proposed lawsuit

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A fired legal assistant at Fox Rothschild is defending her decision to include a partly redacted, sexually explicit photo as an exhibit in her proposed amended lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct by a lawyer at the law firm.

Former legal assistant Stephanie Jones derided the firm’s “pearl-clutching” in her response to the law firm, Law360 reports.

Jones had included a blurred version of the photo allegedly sexted to her, with a black box covering part of the picture.

Jones’ initial suit had alleged that then-Fox Rothschild counsel Ian Siminoff tried to rape her in an office bathroom, fondled her at the office and sent her a barrage of sexually explicit texts, some of which included pictures of his penis.

In October 2020, a federal judge tossed most of the lawsuit claims as time-barred and dismissed a claim of an alleged violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against Siminoff, saying the law doesn’t subject individual employees to liability.

Siminoff has claimed that the relationship was consensual.

In its Oct. 29 opposition to Jones’ motion to amend the suit, Fox Rothschild cited the “unnecessary inclusion of an obscene, scandalous, redundant photograph” as an exhibit.

The brief said the photo is “insufficiently blurred and insufficiently redacted,” and it detracts from the dignity of the court. The firm argues that the photo is redundant because the proposed amended suit already references sexting.

“It is also utterly unnecessary and obviously designed to attract even more media attention to a lawsuit that has had no shortage of it,” the firm’s brief said.

Jones responded in a Nov. 4 brief.

“Defendants’ pearl-clutching at the sight of Siminoff’s redacted penis is quite rich considering they were provided with two copies of the unredacted penis photo on March 6, 2019,” the brief said. “If defendants are so aghast at the sight of Ian’s redacted penis, they should imagine how Ms. Jones felt after Siminoff sexted her several unredacted and unsolicited photos of his penis throughout her employment.”

Jones is represented in the case by Tyrone Blackburn of T.A. Blackburn Law in New York. Fox Rothschild is represented by Fisher & Phillips.

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