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Former model sues Steven Seagal, alleges sexual assault

By Alan Duke, CNN
Steven Seagal's former assistant alleges that the actor-turned-reality TV star sexually assaulted her.
Steven Seagal's former assistant alleges that the actor-turned-reality TV star sexually assaulted her.
  • Steven Seagal's former assistant has filed suit against him
  • The ex-model says he sexually assaulted her after she traveled with him to New Orleans
  • Seagal films segments of his A&E reality series, "Steven Seagal: Lawman," in the city
  • His lawyer calls the suit a "ridiculous and absurd claim by a disgruntled ex-employee"

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- A former model accused actor Steven Seagal of using her as his "sex toy" after she was hired to be his assistant, a lawsuit filed this week said.

The action movie star's lawyer called the sexual harassment suit "a complete fabrication" and said the woman was fired for using illegal drugs.

Kayden Nguyen, 23, answered an online Craigslist ad for an executive assistant job at Seagal's production company in February and was soon on his private jet taking off from Los Angeles, California, bound for New Orleans, Louisiana, the suit said.

Seagal's A&E reality series -- "Steven Seagal: Lawman" -- films segments in New Orleans.

"As the jet taxied down the runway, Mr. Seagal turned to Ms. Nguyen and said 'I'm a family man, and I live with my wife, but she wouldn't care if you were my lover,' " the suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court said.

"Ms. Nguyen decided to take a wait and see attitude," the suit said.

After Nguyen arrived in New Orleans, "she learned that the job she was expected to perform had nothing to do with being an 'executive assistant,' " it said.

Over the next five days, she was sexually assaulted three times by Seagal at a house "many miles from New Orleans in a remote rural area of Jefferson Parish," the suit said.

Seagal also kept "two young Russian 'attendants' on staff who were available for his sexual needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," it said.

During Nguyen's first night on the job, Seagal demanded a "massage," it said.

"He then proceeded to treat Ms. Nguyen as his sex toy."

The suit gives graphic details of Seagal's alleged groping and fondling of Nguyen.

Seagal responded to "Nguyen's terror with the order to 'relax,' 'we won't do anything special tonight. I'll save that for another night,' " the suit said.

The suit alleged that Seagal and his co-workers with the production company ignored her repeated complaints and the assaults continued, including a "vicious sexual attack" on the second night.

She finally left the house in a taxi on Sunday, February 28, under the pretense of meeting family members, but against Seagal's wishes, it said.

"As Ms. Nguyen ran to the cab, Mr. Seagal followed a few steps behind, shining a flashlight with a gun attached to it," it said.

She was so much "in fear for her personal safety that she left behind everything that she owned, including her car keys, her laptop, her clothes and hundreds of dollars worth of makeup," it said.

The lawsuit said employees of Seagal's production company refused to return her property because she would not sign a release promising not to sue for the sexual assaults.

As support for the claims, the lawsuit said that Seagal has a "unique physiological reaction to sexual arousal," which Nguyen "can and will describe in great detail."

Celebrity lawyer Marty Singer, who represents Seagal, said the suit was a "ridiculous and absurd claim by a disgruntled ex-employee who was fired for using illegal narcotics." Her claims "are a complete fabrication without a scintilla of truth," he said.

Her lawyer said Nguyen did not contact local law enforcement agencies "in light of the fact that he'd been down there all that week shooting the TV show riding in a cop car with them."

His TV reality show is based on Seagal's work as a reserve deputy chief with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff Department, a post he has held for several years.

"He is the Sheriff's Department," attorney William Waldo said.

"Steven has a very close relationship with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and I'm proud to have him as part of our team," Sheriff Newell Normand said last year in a news release announcing the show. Normand called a news conference for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the allegations in the lawsuit, according to sheriff's spokesman, Col. John Fortunato.

Nguyen was enrolled in school to be an air traffic controller when she answered the online ad, it said. Before that, she was "an aspiring professional model."