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Actress wins £10,500 payout in sexual harassment case

Helen Haines. Photo: Rocco Redondo Helen Haines. Photo: Rocco Redondo
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An actress has been awarded £10,500 by a tribunal after suffering sexual harassment while working for a theatre-in-education company.

Helen Haines took legal action against Rainbow Theatre Productions, for whom she worked in 2016 and which has Judi Dench as its patron. During this time she was repeatedly propositioned for sex by a fellow actor, Chay Lewandowski, who also asked whether she wanted to take part in a threesome.

Haines told a tribunal in Southampton that her director, Lee Payne, made comments about her sexuality, and she was referred to as a “slut” and a “cunt” by Lewandowski and Payne, who made derogatory comments about women several times.

The tribunal also heard that Payne commented on her vagina and breasts and that Lewndowski took a picture of her while asleep, on which he then drew a penis and posted on Facebook.

She was employed by Rainbow Theatre Productions for a schools tour in autumn 2016. However, following this incident she resigned.

Conversations among the company were often of an “overtly sexual nature” the tribunal heard, and there were also complaints of bullying.

A judgement in December 2017 awarded Haines £10,524.11.

A spokeswoman from Crest Nicholson said: “Crest Nicholson has been working closely with Waverley Borough Council on the Brightwells scheme to bring 239 much needed homes to the area, including 72 affordable homes for local residents. As well as providing new homes for the area, the new site will promote economic regeneration by creating job opportunities and an improved town centre featuring new local amenities for residents to enjoy.”

She added that the company had secured a commercial occupier for “half of the refurbished Brightwells House” and was continuing to work with stakeholders for the rest of the development.

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