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The Sex Harassment Suits Keep Coming: Picture Studio Boss Tanned Naked This One Says

New York City – from – The head of a popular Chelsea Piers photo studio was far from a model boss, his beautiful former assistant claims — charging in a $2 million sexual-harassment suit that he sunbathed nude in front of her, propositioned her and forced her to pick up women for him.

But the alleged horny honcho of Pier 59 Studios, Federico Pignatelli [pictured], says that Maryam Sayigh’s suit is filled with “lies” — and that she was “far too unattractive” for him to sleep with.

“She can make these kind of allegations simply because I’m a man,” Pignatelli fumed to The Post yesterday.

“This is simple extortion.”

In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Sayigh, 35, says that she went to work for Pignatelli as his executive assistant in June 2008 and that, within two weeks, he asked her to go on a European business trip with him.

“As soon as they arrived in Europe, on or about June 13, 2008, Pignatelli began to act inappropriately towards Sayigh, insisting that [she] stay in the same hotel room as him while they were in St.-Tropez, even though the hotel room only had a single bed,” the suit says.

The same thing happened when they went on to Rome, where he told her he “had not had sex in a while” and that he would make her the “face of the company” if she slept with him, her papers claim.

Sayigh initially spurned Pignatelli’s advances but relented while they were on a trip on his boat, where he’d often sunbathe naked, the suit says, adding that she thought that giving in “was the only way she could stay at the company.”

They romped again the next day in his room, where he “took her bathing suit off, turned her face down on the bed and had sex with her,” the suit says.

When Sayigh started rebuffing him again, he’d brag to her about his conquests and even asked her to pick up a woman at a Sardinia restaurant for him, the suit says. When she told him “she was not his madam,” he “grew very angry and threatened to fire Sayigh, telling her getting him women was part of her job,” the suit says.

When the pair returned to New York, she didn’t get the promotion she was allegedly promised and was canned by February.

Pignatelli gave a very different version of events. He said he’d hired Sayigh as a favor for a friend, Serafina co-owner Fabio Granato, and that she stayed with Granato, not him, on the Europe trip.

Granato backed up his pal.

“It’s definitely not true,” Granato said of Sayigh’s story. “I was the one who brought her.”

Pignatelli also denied having sexual relations with Sayigh, saying, “I don’t have sex with my employees,” and besides, “she’s so unattractive, I wouldn’t even dream about it.”

He said she was “fired for cause” after she made a costly mistake by hiring the wrong contractor for a job at Pier 59.

Sayigh’s lawyer, Lewis Fischbein, said, “We deny each of [Pignatelli’s] allegations.”

He said the suit wasn’t filed until now because he’d been in settlement talks with Pignatelli’s lawyer, but a proposed pact was scuttled after Sayigh wouldn’t sign an affidavit backing Pignatelli in a custody fight with his ex.


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