Last month, Oscar winner Faye Dunaway was fired from the Broadway-bound production of the Tea at Five, a one-woman show about Katharine Hepburn, for creating a “hostile” and “dangerous” environment backstage. Now the man who was her assistant on the show is suing her, saying she terrorized him and repeatedly referred to him as a “little homosexual boy."
Michael Rocha, who is gay and who worked for Dunaway for two months before she was fired in July, alleges in his suit that she berated him for the duration of their working relationship, continually commenting on his sexuality, according to Courthouse News.
Rocha was paid $1,500 a week for handling Dunaway’s Tea at Five schedule and travel arrangements, and reminding her to take her meds. He is seeking punitive damages based on the discrimination he says he faced.
The harassment began early, according to the suit. Within weeks of starting work for the Mommie Dearest star, Rocha texted the general counsel for the show to file a complaint that Dunaway had referred to him and several others involved with the production as “little gay people.”
Later that month, he recorded her calling him a “little homosexual boy” as he tried to coax her to rehearsal.
“As I told you on Friday, she still thinks I’m her 24/7 servant and went off on me because I was not there yesterday afternoon or this morning doing her dishes,” Rocha wrote in an email to Tea at Five’s general manager, Joseph Guglielmo, according to the suit. “I worked for her 14 days straight now, and still doing my best to get her to rehearsals on time.”
By late July, Tea at Five producers cut Dunaway loose because she allegedly “slapped and threw things at crew members who were trying to put on her wig.”
Dunaway's lawyer did not respond to a Courthouse News request for comment.