Maryam Saigh is a photographer who once worked for Federico Pignatelli, the owner of the massive Pier 59 photography-studio complex on the Hudson River. Saigh, 35, claims that she was hired as Pignatelli's assistant and from nearly the minute she began work, he sexually harassed her — insisting that she stay in hotel rooms with him where there was only one bed, and calling her things like "a hot piece of ass." Eventually these tactics worked, and Sayigh fell victim to his charms one night on his yacht. "He called her into his room on the boat, took her bathing suit off, turned her facedown on the bed and had sex with her," her lawsuit reads, according to the Daily News. "That evening Pignatelli told Sayigh that she would do very well at the company and that he felt he had picked the right person to be his executive assistant."
Pignatelli, in return, accuses Sayigh of an extortion plot. In addition to having recently been named the chairman of a highly successful dental laser company, Pignatelli also once produced a B movie called Kill Me Later starring Selma Blair, and counts Pope Innocenzo XII among his ancestors. The charges in the lawsuit, he argues, are beneath him.
"I have plenty of women I can sleep with, so why would I sleep with an employee?" he asked the Daily News, adding that Sayigh is "not the type of woman I would sleep with." A papal defense if there ever was one.