Amazon Publishing Chief Accused of Lurid Sexual Harassment

New York, NY– Amazon’s book publishing Chief Laurence Kirshbaum was slapped with a lawsuit after he allegedly shoved his tongue down Ellen McCoy, his accuser’s throat, and committed other lurid acts during a business luncheon to discuss her potential employment at PEN, a writer’s organization, for which he serves as the Executive Vice President of the Board of Trustees.

McCoy, who filed the suit Monday, is a former lover of the married Kirschbaum, but the two parted ways in 2005 after things began to go wrong, according to the Business Insider. Even though the two were no longer carrying on a personal relationship they continued to have business ties through PEN.

In the summer 2010, McCoy reached out to Kirshbaum via email, and he subsequently offered a position at PEN. According to the court documents, obtained by the Business Insider,the emails initially focused on the employment position, but soon began to take on a flirty tone. After McCoy expressed she was not interested in resuming an affair with Kirshbaum, he gave her the run around about the position for a couple of months, the lawsuit states.

But in October of 2010, Kirshbaum invited McCoy to lunch and coffee to discuss the job position. The two met at a restaurant but the business meeting soon turned into a physical assault, according to the lawsuit:

While the plaintiff was standing looking at different salad choices, she asked Kirshbaum what he was going to get. Instead of replying, the much physically larger Kirshbaum suddenly swooped down, grabbed her and forcibly stuck his tongue down her mouth, causing plaintiff’s neck to jerk back in pain in excruciating pain. While plaintiff was in pain and stunned, Kirshbaum thrust a hand in her pants and panties and touched her anus.

Kirshbaum allegedly didn’t stop with the first assault, after going outside he attempted shove his tongue down her throat again. The meeting was abruptly over.

Several days after the alleged assault, the two met again at a coffee shop to discuss the possible funding for a film McCoy was working on. While sitting at a table in the coffee shop, Kirshbaum reached under the table and put his hands up her skirt and into her panties. The lawsuit states that McCoy tried to push him away but he “was far too strong, relentless and forceful.” When she “begged” him to stop, he told her to be quiet and said “she should stop pretending she didn’t need it.” She alleges he continued the sexual assault and threatened her with physical harm if she didn’t comply. When the alleged assault was over McCoy fled from in tears.

McCoy, over the course of several months, tried to resolve the issue and hired different attorneys, but Kirshbaum refused to acknowledge her complaints, the lawsuit states.

Kirshbaum vehemently denies McCoy’s allegations, accusing her of being a jilted lover who is attempting to extort money. As statement issued by Kirchbaum’s attorney, published in the Business Insider, accused McCoy of filing the suit after Kirshbaum ignored her threats to disclose the events to his wife and the public.

Kirshbaum’s attorneys also stated they would fight the charges in court and were confident McCoy’s claims would be proven false.