A married Manhattan entrepreneur who hired a young woman as a live-in assistant reportedly outfitted her bedroom and bathroom with hidden cameras—and when she was caught, she took her 10-year-old. Son pleaded guilty, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday.
Court documents claim Tandem CEO Arthur Friedin wrote in a text message to his assistant, “I’m embarrassed.”
“I’ve already sorted things out [my son] …he certainly had no idea what he was doing and this is a serious lesson for him but I want to make sure you are okay,” Fredin reportedly texted the woman.
The suit says the young woman, identified only as Jane Doe in court papers, made the dangerous alleged discovery on September 29, when she was in the office and her phone began to malfunction. The documents claim he asked Friedin to borrow to make the call.
According to court documents, she was stunned to find an application on her phone called LookCam, which contained video footage shared with her and his wife, Sarah McLaughlin, from inside the bathroom.
“The video footage was in her most recently viewed history,” her attorney Dan Perone wrote in the federal complaint.
The woman, a recent college graduate in her 20s, walked back to the apartment on East 56th Street, allegedly found a camera disguised as a USB charger in the residence’s only bathroom and confronted McLaughlin, paper stat.
Perón wrote of the assistant in court documents, “She used the bathroom that hid her spy camera daily to urinate, defecate, dress, undress, and shower, thus, on several occasions she was naked.” was done.”
The suit says Friedin initially claimed he had no idea how the app got on his phone in a text to his assistant.
“I saw an app this morning that I don’t recognize (I download a lot of apps. And never open most of them) and didn’t think anything of it,” he reportedly wrote, according to the papers. He said that after he was notified of the disturbing video, he immediately removed the app.
It was not immediately clear from court documents whether the footage showed the woman naked or was otherwise compromised.
The newspapers allege that the assistant reported the incident to the NYPD and was promptly fired from her $55,000-a-year gig and taken out of her e-mail account.
About a week before she stumbled upon bathroom footage, the woman reportedly found a hidden camera in her bedroom and unplugged it. But the next day, it was turned on again and actively recorded, the suit claims. According to court documents, after he unplugged it again, Friedin reportedly asked him why he disabled it.
McLaughlin first hired the woman in February as a babysitter for his two children from a prior marriage, the suit says. A month later, McLaughlin invited her to work full-time as her husband’s assistant, but the new role required her to be with him four to five days a week, the lawsuit claims.
The complaint alleges that the atmosphere was “both controlled and sexually charged, with harassment ranging from sexually charged comments to unwanted, sexual touching.”
According to court documents, for an office project, Friedin allegedly forced her to take off her bra to demonstrate how kinesiology tape could be used on her neck and back.
He allegedly told her to go to the gym every morning at 6 a.m. and would stand behind her while she was working out, the lawsuit alleges.
Perón wrote that the couple used their “influence and wealth to commit unimaginable acts of depravity and sexual deviation at the expense of a young, trustworthy woman.”
According to the firm’s Web site, Tandem Marketing helped with brand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 congressional campaign and partnered with Planned Parenthood to create the awareness campaign.
The suit names Freedin, McLaughlin and Tandem as defendants and alleges violations of New York human rights law, gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
The couple did not immediately respond to requests for comment by e-mail or phone, nor did Tandem.