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San Francisco Examiner
April 13, 1997
Women give explicit sexual details in Don Johnson suit: Nash Bridges' star denies allegations

By Scott Winokur
of the Examiner Staff

Court filings by two San Francisco women allege a graphic pattern of sexual harassment-including assault- by actor Don Johnson, star of the locally produced "Nash Bridges" TV show.

Johnson has denied misconduct toward the women and accused both in a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit of trying to shake him down for a $1.5 million payoff, in exchange for a promise not to sue for sexual harassment.

"Bring a chastity belt to work," Antonia Napoli, 27, said she was warned by a "Nash Bridges" crew member during her first day on the set, April 14, 1996.

The warning and the alleged harassment that followed are detailed in one of two lawsuits filed in San Francisco Superior Court Friday.
The companion suit filed by Kiel Murray, 23, who also claimed harassment and physical assault while working for Johnson and "Nash Bridges" production companies during filming of the show in San Francisco last year.

The women accused Johnson of firing them after they rebuffed his alleged advances. The suits said he violated their civil rights and harmed them physically. Each woman accused Johnson of 12 separate acts of misconduct; Napoli also accused the actor of false imprisonment.
The women are seeking back pay and unspecified damages.

"They are no doubt trying to retaliate for Don's suit against them," said Johnson attorney, Ronald Litz of Los Angeles. He denied the charges.
Elliot Mintz, Johnson's spokesman, said, A Friends, co-workers and fans should suspend judgment until there is an appropriate forum where Don can prove these women for what they are."

Napoli, described in the suit as an honors film graduate of USC and a screenwriter, was a production assistant on the show. Murray, a communications graduate of St. Mary's College, was Johnson's chauffeur.
Napoli declined comment Friday. Murray could not be reached. Their attorneys, Roderick Bushnell and Janet Mangini of San Francisco, also declined comment.

"As Napoli went to the back of the bus to pick up some laptop computers," the suit said, "Johnson came up behind her and ... grabbed Napoli and pushed her against the wall of the bus, stating, 'I know you want me, I want you.'

"Johnson put his hands down Napoli's blouse, under her bra."

In the same incident, the suit said, Johnson made sexual remarks to Napoli, forcibly kissed her, suggested her advancement depended upon her sexual compliance, thrust his hands down her pants.

Johnson told Napoli he wanted to have intercourse with her, the suit said, and Napoli tried to rebuff him by saying, "You can have any girl you want." She fled the bus.

After complaining about the alleged incident to a male supervisor, Napoli's suit said she was told: "It will end. He'll get bored with you and move on. If you sleep with him, he'll fire you like the others."

Murray said that on May 10, 1996, she drove Johnson to San Francisco in his black Lincoln Town Car after Johnson and his staff viewed a movie on Treasure Island. Johnson, who normally rode in the back seat, got in next to Murray, the suit said.

"Johnson had an open bottle of wine with him. Once on the Bay Bridge, Johnson slid close to Murray and covered Murray's eyes with his hands," the suit said.

"Johnson commanded Murray to drive faster and thrust his hand under her skirt and grabbed her groin area," it said.

"While driving in traffic on the Bay Bridge, Murray struggled to take Johnson's hands off her eyes and grabbed his wrist to prevent Johnson from continuing to grope under her skirt."

Both suits described other alleged acts of misconduct, including:
Johnson allegedly implied that Napoli's advancement was contingent upon her sexual compliance.

During filming of the movie "Tin Cup" in Southern California on May 23, 1996, (Johnson had a supporting role), the actor allegedly told Napoli: "Make love to me. ...You don't have to tell anyone. Please spend the night at my house."

Johnson allegedly spoke suggestively to Murray at Scoma's Restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf shortly after she was hired on Jan.25, 19996, and thrust his tongue into her mouth while on location in the Mission District on April 16, 1996.

Johnson allegedly pressed Murray against the dining room wall of his San Francisco home on May 6, 1996, and fondled her breasts.

On May 10, 1996, Murray alleged, Johnson "pushed (her) skirt above her wait" and pulled her tights away from her waist.

Napoli, who had been hired on Feb. 29, 1996, said she was told on July 23 that she would be let go for budgetary reasons. Subsequently, her suit alleged, she was informed by a production boss that "it was a shame that (she) had been fired and that it was not because of any budget problems."

Murray said she was informed in mid-August that she would not be retained for fall shooting of "Nash Bridges." Her suit said she was told by other employees that she was terminated because she refused to sleep with Johnson.

The suits were filed three weeks after Johnson sued the women in Los Angeles for defamation, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress. He accused them of trying to extort a payoff of $1.5 million in exchange for an agreement not to sue for sexual harassment.

Johnson claimed Napoli and Murray accused him of sexual harassment in conversations with others on the "Nash Bridges" set in an alleged attempt to find women who join them in suing for sexual harassment.
Private investigators were hired by the women, Johnson alleged, to conduct a surveillance that invaded Johnson's privacy.

Johnson's suit sought unspecified damages.

"Nash Bridges" is set in The City where it is filmed five days a week. The show is about a hip, slick-talking cop played by Johnson- a character similar to the one he portrayed in his previous series, "Miami Vice."
Johnson sued the National Enquirer in February, contending the tabloid newspaper libeled him by claiming his alleged habitual drunkenness on the set of "Nash Bridges" disrupted production of the show.

Johnson's suit against the Enquirer said the weekly also falsely claimed he was "paranoid to the point that he was sleeping with a gun." The Enquirer has said it stands by the story.



     
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