A lawsuit filed by a former court secretary Sharon Sabbagh claims Brooklyn civil court Judge David Schmidt sexually harassed her in various ways throughout her employment. When Sabbagh couldn’t take anymore, she filed a complaint with the court’s top judge. At this point, Judge Schmidt was informed of the complaint, and he subsequently fired Sabbagh. Sabbagh says she is “embarrassed” that she has to bring this lawsuit to court, but says she doesn’t know what else to do.
According to the Daily Mail, Sabbagh alleges that the Brooklyn civil court Judge David Schmidt, 61, tormented her as she worked as his court secretary. At one point, Sabbagh, 57, who is an Orthodox Jew, claims that Schmidt called her religious dress “ugly” in a packed court room, claiming that he said, “Ew, that’s an ugly sheitel, I hate it.” Attacks on her religious dress and appearance weren’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the allegations against Schmidt.
In fact, in a particularly disgusting complaint, Sabbagh says that Schmidt forced her to “pick up his soiled underwear,” and that he required her to give him a hug each day before she left work. In addition to the forced hugs, the secretary claims that the judge would frequently stroke her cheek and tell her explicit details about his sex life with his mistress. He went into great detail in regards to his relationship with his mistress. He told Sabbagh that he purchases his mistress underwear from Victoria’s Secret, and that he reportedly said, “[My mistress] sits across from me, she sits with her legs open so I can see her crotch, she wouldn’t do that if she didn’t want me.”
The New York Post notes that other explicit details about Schmidt’s relationship with his mistress came up in conversation throughout Sabbagh’s employment, including forcing Sabbagh to read a “sex poem” he wrote to the mystery woman. He also had Sabbagh print out sexual emails from online dating sites and claimed that he frequently had “phone sex” with his mistress detailing the accounts to Sabbagh. Other personal matters, such as sex with his wife, also were discussed. The judge told his secretary that “when I have sex with my wife, I think of her [the mistress].”
Secretary Sabbagh had worked for the court system for 24 years. However, the day after she reported her complaint to the top judge, she was fired. Therefore, Sabbagh said she had no other choice but to file a lawsuit. In fact, Sabbagh says she is “embarrassed” to have to bring the claim to court but “no one deserves to be treated this way.”
“I’m embarrassed to have to bring this lawsuit, but what else could I do? No one deserves to be treated this way, especially by judges who are supposed to uphold the state’s human rights laws.”