The wife of a hedge funder is claiming that she isn’t racist after a series of reported comments that are, in fact, quite racist. Her biggest defense is that she has Black friends, particularly Alicia Keys and her producer husband Swizz Beatz.
According to Page Six, Lisa Falcone is the wife of billionaire hedge funder Philip Falcone, and now she’s found herself in a lawsuit because her former personal chef accused her of racist language.
The alleged incident occurred after Lisa met chef Brian Villanueva‘s girlfriend, who is Black, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.
Villanueva said his girlfriend stopped by to help him cook for a Hamptons dinner party that the Falcones were hosting back in July. The event was attended by Keys and Swizz Beatz. The next morning, the suite says that Liza commented on how articulate Villanueva’s girlfriend was.
“Your girlfriend speaks very well. She seems educated. I would describe her as a chocolate-covered marshmallow,” the chef accuses Lisa of saying. Despite Villanueva appearing visibly offended, the suit says that Lisa continued to say, “Do you use the word ‘ni**a’ at home with your girlfriend?”
The suit explained, “Defendant Lisa Falcone noticed the shocked and offended expression on Plaintiff’s face, however, rather than apologize, she said defensively, ‘I’m Puerto Rican and grew up in Spanish Harlem so I can speak like that.'”
The lawsuit then says that Villanueva challenged his boss to explain her comments, and she responded that neither Keys nor her husband were as well-spoken.
“I meant she speaks really eloquently. Alicia [Keys] doesn’t speak that way. She didn’t have an education and was just discovered by Clive Davis when she was fifteen years old. Swizz [Beatz] definitely doesn’t speak that way either,” Lisa allegedly told Villanueva. Later in the day, Villanueva says that he delivered pizza to the Falcones on the beach, and revealed that he was quitting due to the racist remarks.
“Rather than accepting Plaintiff’s resignation, Defendant Lisa Falcone asked Plaintiff not to resign and stated ‘talk to my Black friends’ (supposedly referring to Keys and Swizz Beatz — both of whom were at the beach with the Falcones during that time), and emphasized ‘they will tell you that I am not racist,'” the lawsuit states.
Villanueva is suing Lisa and her husband for discrimination and violation of New York labor laws, saying he’s owed $4,230.76 in unpaid wages. The suit also claims that Philip said he would only compensate Villanueva if he and his girlfriend signed a confidentiality agreement promising to not repeat Lisa’s comments. They refused to sign.
Keys nor Swizz Beatz have yet to make a public statement about the situation.