Back in November, singer-actress Brandy reached a settlement with a former housekeeper who sued the “Moesha” star for age discrimination. Brandy agreed to pay the ex-employee, Maria Elizabeth Castaneda (aka Elizabeth Juarez), $40,000. But now, Brandy has been ordered to dish out another $32,000 to pay the housekeeper’s legal fees.
A hearing was held earlier this week in Castaneda’s lawsuit to determine attorney fees. according to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com.
The Never-Ending Lawsuit
The R&B star Brandy was sued for more than $250,000 in March by her former housekeeper Castaneda in March 2022. The settlement was reached in November. At that point the housekeeper’s attorneys asked the court to make Brandy pay $87,000 for Castaneda’s legal fees.
Castaneda’s lawyers, Kevin A. Lipeles and Thomas H. Schelly of the Lipeles Law Firm in El Segundo, were seeking fees from $39,194.46 to $87,445.80, depending how the court determined what’s owed, The Daily Mail reported.
“[Castaneda’s] counsel only seeks a fair recovery for the time, risk, and effort spent in representing its client and now seeks an award of attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $87,445.89,” the filing by the lawyers read.
The motion continued, “[Castaneda’s] counsel is not demanding 100% of the fees it incurred in this lawsuit; only those fees that directly pertained to attorney and paralegal work and only those fees that pertained to the matter upon which judgment was entered. Plaintiff’s counsel deleted any fees incurred performing administrative or clerical tasks.”
A herring in the matter was initially set for Dec. 8, but according to Radar.com, the hearing took place earlier this week.
Brandy agreed to pay the amount determined by the court. At a recent hearing Brandy was ordered to pay $31,821.40 in legal fees, Radar reported.
The order stated, “[Castaneda] asserts that [Brandy’s] star status warrants a boost in the fee award. The Court is not convinced. Indeed, it may be that an early settlement pegged to the level of [Castaneda’s] wage loss was available early in the case because a celebrity like [Brandy] would want to end an unflattering lawsuit rapidly to keep it out of the public eye.”
The First Lawsuit
Castaneda had been a longtime employee of Brandy’s, having worked for her for nearly 20 years. She earned $125 a day, starting in September 2002. Her responsibilities included cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. Castaneda, 60, claimed she was fired on Feb. 25, 2022, according to court documents. She claimed she was fired due to her age and that she was wrongfully terminated. She wanted compensatory damages of at least $250,000, general damages of at least $250,000, consequential damages of at least $97,500, additional damages totaling more than $54,000, and attorneys fees, The Daily Mail reported.
Brandy’s lawyers argued Castaneda voluntarily quit.