Women sue Monster Energy for alleged discrimination, harassment

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The women who slammed Monster Energy with five separate lawsuits have spoken out — one saying her boss called her a “whore,” another saying she was berated at work for having kids, and one woman even claiming she was assaulted by an executive at the beverage company.

The five women each shared their very different stories of alleged mistreatment in an interview with ABC News’ Amy Robach, claiming that they were harassed and disrespected while working behind the scenes at the beverage company.

“This is all I have left — just my voice. And the truth has to be heard,” said Paige Zeringue, a former employee of the energy drink maker.

Zeringue is suing Monster Energy, arguing in court documents filed last June that she was subject to “sexual harassment” and a “hostile work environment” while working at the company.

Zeringue told ABC News that she was initially in a consensual sexual relationship with her former boss at the company, John Kenneally.

“I realized very soon that it was absolutely the worst mistake of my life,” Zeringue said.

She added that she told him she wanted out of the relationship, and angry texts and verbal abuse soon followed.

“He would call me names and things that no one in my life would ever call me,” she said. “He would call me a whore.”

Kenneally resigned as vice president of Monster Energy late Thursday night. ABC News attempted to contact Kenneally, but was unable to reach him for comment.

Another former employee, Fran Pulizzi, told ABC News that she had heard Kenneally call another female employee a “whore.”

“And it wasn’t uncommon for him to discuss sexual relations among employees,” Pulizzi added.

Pulizzi argues in a lawsuit filed last May that after she had been working at the company for five years, she was subjected to hostile and harassing behavior from Kenneally when she participated in an investigation by human resources into another employee’s sexual harassment complaint.

“I thought for sure they were going to keep my statements confidential,” Pulizzi said. “When I found out within a few days that John had been made aware of everything I said, I was in shock.”

Pulizzi alleges that Kenneally then began to bully and harass her at work before ultimately freezing her out.

“He refused to talk to me, and our open communication was a key part of my job,” she said. “He refused to work with me, refused to acknowledge me.”

Another former employee, Jamie Hogan, argued in court documents filed last August that her former supervisor at Monster Energy would “publicly insult and berate her for having children.”

“He would make comments about, ‘Oh, we’d have to move our meeting so that Jamie could go home at night and see her kids,'” Hogan told ABC News.

She added that he would also schedule “impromptu meetings.”

“I didn’t show up because I wasn’t aware of it,” she said. “It just became increasingly difficult to do my job.”

Hogan said she felt retaliated against after she reported her concerns to the human resources department, and eventually left the company.

Sarah Lozano, a former employee in the HR department at Monster Energy, is also suing her former employer.

Lozano claimed that, at a work event in Las Vegas, her female boss confronted her about a rumor.

“The rumor started that I had sex with multiple people in a restroom at a hotel,” Lozano said. “She said that I had ruined the credibility of the human resources department because of my actions.”

“I was mortified. I was shocked,” she added. “I absolutely denied it.”

Lozano argues in her lawsuit that as a result of the confrontation about the rumor, her work and health suffered and that she was “ridiculed on a weekly basis” by her boss. After seven months, she said she left the company.

Freelance makeup artist Sarah Rabuse told ABC News that she was dating an executive at Monster Energy and did the makeup at several company events.

“Brent Hamilton, who was the head of music marketing, was my boyfriend,” Rabuse told ABC News. She alleged that he later assaulted her, however, in his Nashville hotel room following a Monster event.

“He was calling me a b—-, a whore, a slut. Told me I was cheap. … Eventually he threw me on the bed. He choked me,” she added.

Rabuse is suing Hamilton and Monster Energy, arguing in court documents that company executives “knew of his violent and abusive nature.”

Hamilton’s criminal trial is set to begin this summer.

A spokesperson for Monster Energy told ABC News in a statement that the company has “zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind” and “takes all reported complaints very seriously.”

“To date, Monster’s investigations into the lawsuits support the position that none of the lawsuits or the claims have any merit,” the statement added.

The women, however, told ABC News that coming forward and sharing their individual stories has not been easy.

“We’ve all been hurt,” said Jamie Hogan, a former employee of the energy drink makers. “Our lives have been changed because of this.”

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