Michael Rocha alleges Dunaway “regularly and relentlessly subjected plaintiff to abusive demeaning tirades”

By Ale Russian
August 16, 2019 12:49 PM
Advertisement

Faye Dunaway is being sued by a former assistant who alleges the Oscar winner used his sexual orientation to “demean and humiliate him at work.”

Michael Rocha, Dunaway’s assistant on the previously Broadway-bound play Tea at Five — filed a suit against the actress to the Manhattan Supreme Court, according to documents obtained by The Blast. Rocha worked out of Dunaway’s apartment in the city and was allegedly paid $1,500 a week starting in early April.

Rocha alleges Dunaway “regularly and relentlessly subjected plaintiff to abusive demeaning tirades” and used his sexual orientation to “demean and humiliate him at work,” according to the papers filed.

The former assistant claims Dunaway called him and other workers “little gay people” in early May and later called him “a little homosexual boy.”

PEOPLE has reached out to Dunaway’s lawyer for comment.

Rocha claims in the complaint that he has a recording of the latter, which he says he brought to general manager and general counsel of the play. According to Rocha, he was subsequently fired about two weeks later on June 12 and was told Dunaway “is not comfortable with you anymore.”

Faye Dunaway
Jim Spellman/WireImage

Dunaway, who won a Best Actress Oscar in 1977 for Network, was later fired from the play in late July by the play’s producers Ben Feldman and Scott Beck. Tea at Five is a one-woman play that follows the story of Katherine Hepburn as she embarks on her acting career, winning her first Oscar and surviving a car crash.

A statement by Feldman and Beck obtained by The Hollywood Reporter read, “The producers of Tea at Five announced today that they have terminated their relationship with Faye Dunaway.”

“Plans are in development for the play to have its West End debut early next year with a new actress to play the role of Katharine Hepburn,” the statement continued.