Lawsuit over Jackie Siegel’s sexual harassment allegation settled before trial begins
Queen of Versailles Reigns Again. Image via discovery+.

Queen of Versailles Reigns Again_Jackie Siegel_Credit Discovery+ copy
'You’re here to please me. There are consequences for you not pleasing me.'

2022 has been a busy year for socialite Jackie Siegel. Her new reality show premiered on the discovery+ streaming service. Hurricane Ian damaged her still unfinished mega-mansion.

One item off her calendar?

A trial next month.

Jackie Siegel was expected to be called as a witness in an Orlando federal civil trial involving allegations whether she sexually harassed her ex-personal chef for years.

The ex-chef, Jose Flores, and CFI Resorts Management settled their litigation weeks before the Orlando trial was scheduled to begin next month, according to federal court documents. Jackie Siegel was not sued individually in the case.

Court documents don’t provide the terms of the settlement. Attorneys from both sides either did not respond for comment or said the settlement was confidential.

In 2020, Flores sued CFI — the parent company for Westgate Resorts, which was founded by Jackie’s timeshare mogul husband, David Siegel.

Jackie and David Siegel gained notoriety for their plans to build a lavish palace in Central Florida which has laid unfinished because of lengthy construction delays and problems. Their story was told in the 2012 documentary film “The Queen of Versailles” and followed up by a new reality show this year called “Queen of Versailles Reigns Again.”

In his lawsuit, Flores said he was “subjected to severe and pervasive sexual harassment at the hands of his female boss, Jackie Siegel.”

Flores claimed Jackie told him he was a Latin chef so he must be good in bed.

“You’re here to please me. There are consequences for you not pleasing me,” Flores said Jackie said, according to his lawsuit.

Flores complained the sexual harassment escalated and Jackie flashed her breasts at him and intentionally walked around in see-through nightgowns. Flores claimed Jackie also groped him several times and masturbated in front of him more than once, according to his lawsuit.

When Flores said he complained to the company, nothing happened, Flores claimed.

Within weeks of Flores’ lawsuit, CFI responded aggressively in court. CFI denied Flores’ allegations and in return, accused him of being a bad employee and theft in a countersuit.

CFI claimed Flores often missed work and was not dependable.

“On Monday, April 15, 2019, the first business day after CFI counseled and warned Flores about (his) attendance and work deficiencies, Flores went to Team Member Services located at the Westgate Lakes & Spa and made a sexual harassment complaint against Mrs. Siegel,” the countersuit said.

Flores was later caught with restaurant sandwiches and food supplies in his car. He wasn’t authorized to take the items, the countersuit said. The counter-lawsuit said Flores had “ever-changing excuses,” so he was fired on Sept. 10, 2019, for theft and dishonesty.

Analyzing Flores’ moves, CFI said the company later realized the chef had a history of clocking in but not showing up to work at the Siegels during his employment.

“Flores exploited this to collect more than $30,000 in wages from CFI for work he did not do,” the countersuit said.

CFI wanted Flores to pay back that money.

Both sides prepared for the upcoming trial.

During jury selection, the list of questions to whittle down jurors included: Do you think negatively of reality TV stars?

Flores and Jackie Siegel were both likely to be called to testify as witnesses while Jackie’s husband, David may have been called, according to court records. However, the litigation was settled before the five-day trial started on Nov. 14. The case was dismissed on Oct. 3, according to a federal court order.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


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