PM's wife files countersuit against former housekeeper
In January 2010, Peretz sued Netanyahu for failing to pay her the legal minimum wage and various mandatory benefits, including severance pay and vacation pay.
Sara Netanyahu filed a countersuit on Sunday against the former housekeeper who sued her two years ago, in which she accuses Lillian Peretz of slander, violating confidentiality and violating her privacy. The prime minister's wife is seeking NIS 587,000 in damages.
In January 2010, Peretz sued Netanyahu for failing to pay her the legal minimum wage and various mandatory benefits, including severance pay and vacation pay. She also demanded compensation for pain and suffering, accusing Netanyahu of having "publicly harassed, humiliated and degraded her as a person and as a worker, systematically and mercilessly, for years." Altogether, Peretz sought NIS 374,359.
The countersuit was filed "after all hope was lost, in light of the enormous and accumulating damage that [Peretz's] suit has caused and is still causing," it stated. Netanyahu "restrained herself for a long time in the face of the vast wave of malicious reports that the defendant disseminated. ... The defendant turned her [Netanyahu] into a punching bag and injured her reputation cruelly and mercilessly, assailing her via the media, while she was barred from responding by her lofty public position. Unfortunately, the more restraint the plaintiff exercised, the more the media campaign of vengeance waged by the defendant intensified," according to the countersuit.
At the suggestion of the Haifa Labor Court, where Peretz's suit was filed, the two had initially tried mediation. But two weeks ago, Peretz's attorneys told the court the mediation had failed. The court therefore said it would start hearing evidence in the case on April 16. Netanyahu has asked the court to merge the two suits, so that both would be heard simultaneously.
Peretz, 45, of Hadera, worked at the Netanyahus' Caesarea residence half-time for six years, in 2004-2009. Netanyahu's suit argued that had she been abused, she would not have stayed for so long.
According to the contract Netanyahu submitted with her suit, Peretz grossed NIS 2,563 a month, plus NIS 497 for travel expenses and other benefits. The contract included a confidentiality agreement, in which Peretz promised not to reveal any information obtained through her work and to pay $50,000 if she violated this commitment - which Netanyahu's suit says she has.
Altogether, Netanyahu is seeking NIS 187,600 for violating confidentiality, NIS 300,000 for slander and NIS 100,000 for violating her privacy.