A Wall Street millionaire’s two former babysitters filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against him and his girlfriend after they called them “dirty Jamaicans.”
Cislyn Wright and Cordia Foster co-founders of Ogden Phipps II in Manhattan Ian K. She was the live-in nanny for Snow and his girlfriend, Elyse Dula. Foster began working for the couple in 2017, and Wright in 2018. The women lived with Snow, Dula and the four children at their rental home in the Hamptons as well as the couple’s New York mansion owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Stock photo: Black woman babysitting two white children (Getty)
The women said they were stereotyped by the couple from the start of their employment and were called “dirty Jamaicans” and “black b-s”.
The first incident happened in January of 2020 after the family’s kittens were outside, prompting Dula to say, “That black b-s-s!”
The lawsuit also claimed that in May of 2020, Dula said, “I’m glad to have these dirty Jamaicans out of my house” when the servants’ quarters were nearly finished. Foster and Wright also claimed that they were accused of theft and trespassing after they were fired in August 2020.
The lawsuit alleges that the women were let go for a variety of reasons, including using their cell phones, bathing the children in hot water, and neglecting the children.
The two nannies were also accused of being “hostile” towards Dula and threatening to perform “black magic” on the couple. The women also said that the couple’s personal assistant, Tamela Walsh, told them, “Elise hates you Jamaicans”.
The lawsuit also claims that the couple tried to quit their jobs by halving their salary. The documents also stated that Snow and Dula blocked the nannies’ ability to see outside by covering the kitchen window of the servants’ quarters.
The women filed a racial discrimination lawsuit in New York in December 2021. Court documents revealed that the former nannies suffered from other identities, such as being neglected while the couple addressed non-Black House servants in their presence. The nannies were also forbidden from entering the guest quarters of the houses or the pool house.
“Both defendants often condescendingly treated plaintiff as if they were ‘invisible’—for example, upon entering a room occupied by Foster or Wright and a non-black servant, the defendants frequently acting non-black workers while would greet, smile and talk as if Foster or Wright were not present.
Court documents also stated that the two nannies were “terminated together without reason or explanation” by Dula and Snow.
The couple denied they were racist and claimed the nannies were fired because they lost faith in the women’s ability to care for their children. The couple’s denial was also noted in court documents.
“The services of the plaintiff were terminated, not because of the color of his skin, nor because of any alleged ‘retaliation’, but because he had lost the trust and confidence of the defendants, the defendants’ willingness to allow An essential and non-negotiable component for any person, of any color or racial make-up, to care for their young children.”
The couple also said that nannies had been terminated for placing a monitoring device in the children’s rooms and disciplining the children by placing them in a windowless room. The women claimed that they were following the instructions of the doula. The couple were also upset that the women gave one of the children a scary clown mask from the “Batman” movie.
Gerard Riso, the couple’s attorney, told The New York Post that the couple planned to contest the lawsuit. “Defendants deny all allegations and we will vigorously contest this.”