A former housekeeper has filed a lawsuit accusing the Israeli prime minister’s wife of abusing her.
Lillian Peretz, who worked as the Netanyahuâ€™s housekeeper at their beachside home in the town of Caesaria for six years, claims that Sara Netanyahu verbally abused her and forced her to change clothes and shower several times a day to maintain a “sterile” environment. It also alleges that she was paid less than minimum wage and forced to work on the Jewish Sabbath despite the fact that she is an observant Jew.
The prime minister’s office claimed that the lawsuit is “false and full of lies and defamation” and that the housekeeper is part of a media-orchestrated political conspiracy.
Peretz is asking for about $80,000 in the lawsuit filed last week and publicized on Friday in the Yediot Ahronot daily.
Sara Netanyahu, a former flight attendant who is now a practicing psychologist, also got attention during her husband’s first term as prime minister from 1996 to 1999. She came under fire for squabbling with her staff, flaunting her young children in public and meddling in state affairs. Among these scandals, she was accused of firing a nanny for burning a pot of soup and of throwing a pair of shoes at an assistant.
According to the lawsuit, Sara Netanyahu
“like in the story of Cinderella, burdened her (Peretz) with impossible chores, tyrannized her and screamed to the point of terror.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Peretz was not allowed to drink the family’s bottled water, only tap water.
The Netanyahuâ€™s dismissed the allegations, saying that Peretz had warm and loving treatment in the home. They produced pictures of the two women embracing, a copy of Peretz’s letter of resignation, signed
“with lots of love and appreciation,”
and a newspaper clipping of Peretz expressing her love for Sara Netanyahu.