In Letter to Court, Netanyahu's Wife Denies Mistreating Maid

Former housekeeper sued the prime minister and his wife for alleged underpayment and 'humiliation.'

Ofra Edelman
Ofra Edelman
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Ofra Edelman
Ofra Edelman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife on Wednesday submitted a letter of defense to the Tel Aviv Labor Court, in which she flatly denied accusations that she had mistreated and underpaid her housekeeper.

The former maid, Lillian Peretz, charged that Sara Netanyahu had "humiliated" her, occasionally shouting and insisting she change clothes during the working day to meet exacting demands for hygiene around the household. Peretz also sought compensation for underpayment.

"The lawsuit is filled with complaints fabricated for present need and have no actual substance," Sara Netanyahu wrote in her letter of defense, published first on Haaretz.

In the six years Peretz worked for them, said Netanyahu, she received nothing but "warmth and love." According to the letter, Peretz said many times: "I came because of Bibi, I stayed because of Sara.

According to Netanyahu, Peretz left her job at her own initiative.

Netanyahu also quoted in her letter of defense a note Peretz apparently sent the couple following the most recent Knesset elections. "Dear family! Congratulations and good luck! I am so proud of you, you have no idea. Love you the most in the world. Lillian."

Evidence obtained by Haaretz after the lawsuit was filed revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara was skimping on payments to the couple's household help.

Pay slips that Peretz, submitted along with her suit against Sarah Netanyahu show that her basic monthly wage ranged from NIS 2,550 to NIS 3,060.

Peretz, who had previously worked for a personnel agency, presented evidence in the lawsuit showing that her wages and benefits at the agency were considerably better than they were when she worked for the Netanyahus.

In addition to her low wage from the Netanyahus, a sum of NIS 50 to NIS 60 was deducted from her wage for national insurance. She was not paid for transportation, overtime or working on the Sabbath.

The agency paid her a basic wage of NIS 5,000, well above the minimum wage of NIS 3,850. To this, it added payment for overtime, transportation, and working on weekends.

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